What is Affiliate Marketing and How it Works for Bloggers? (Beginners Guide for 2021)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on one of the links and make a purchase, we will get a small compensation (However, you will not be charged any extra). The reviews are based on our own experiences, which we were not paid for. The following is an affiliate disclaimer.

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online in a profitable way. If you want to learn What is Affiliate marketing, you can read this post carefully.

Becoming an affiliate with an affiliate network is a good way to make money with your blog. Most of the affiliates are working with their own strategies with their registered affiliate marketing companies.

So you have to understand the program before you start and join any affiliate marketing program. This is a guide on Affiliate marketing for beginners.

By the end of this article, You will learn these topics,

  • What is affiliate marketing?
  • What is the basic terminology using in Affiliate marketing?
  • How to Start an Affiliate marketing?
  • What are the basic points to consider before choosing the Program?
  • How to make money from affiliate marketing?
  • What are the most popular Affiliate Programs? and more

To get started with an affiliate program, You have to find the perfect affiliate marketing program as per your blog niche requirements.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing where you basically promote a product and then a user purchases the product, you will get a commission. This is one of the channels to make money online, which is highly used by Bloggers, YouTubers and pod-casters.

If you promote any affiliate product to your audience,  you will get some decent commission (it may be the highest affiliate commissions per sale sometimes) when they buy the product by using your referral link.

The Affiliate company will provide a new account within their site for affiliates.

The affiliates account is having special promotional links, banner and some other affiliation tools.

The Special affiliate product link containing custom code, this code is recorded by cookies on the site that we bonded. If a visitor visits your website or blog and then clicking on that link, the user will be redirected to the sales page directly.

If the visitor or customer completes their purchases on the sales page you will get some commission. This commission depends on the Affiliate company.

This commission is different from product to product. It may be from $1 to $10,000 and it depends on which product you are promoting.

What are the benefits of affiliate marketing?

Do you know the basic advantages of Affiliate marketing if you join as Affiliate? Do you sell the products you choose? If yes, read these advantages carefully.

  • You do not have stock or store; you have no distribution costs, no need to hire employees because you sell the products of another.
  • You can earn excellent affiliate commissions.
  • You need a minimum investment, computer with Internet access and the costs of running a minimal blog.
  • You can create as many pages as you want to promote the product.
  • Work as long as you decide to work.
  • You can promote these affiliate products by using Email marketing service providers

What are the basic terminologies used in Affiliate marketing?

Before going to learn what is affiliate marketing, you have to know the basic terminology. Here we provide the basic terms with definitions for a better understanding.


A type of publishers, who are promoting affiliate products and links to make sales.

Landing pages

A landing page is the active web page that users see when they click on an advertisement or a search result. The landing pages used in search engine advertising are an extension of the announcement seen by the user.

Custom Coupons

Most of the Affiliate products will allow creating custom coupons to track sales. This custom discount coupon will help you to get better affiliate sales.

Link Cloaking

Link cloaking is the special method used by the affiliate marketers to hide the affiliate link (referral link)or content as smart links. By using this method, ugly referral links will be converted into readable URLs. This can be achieved by Thirsty affiliates and Pretty Links WordPress Plugin.

Affiliate link

This is the promotional link, which is provided by the affiliate marketing programs to track your product promotions.

Affiliate marketplace

These are having the list of huge affiliate products on different niches. Here thousands of products are available at a single platform. The best example for these marketplaces is ShareASale, Impact Radius, Commission Junction and ClickBank.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for beginners?

Everyone can start this affiliate marketing. this is a type of performance-based marketing. This can be achieved in different ways.

These are the few ways to promote affiliate products.

  • Promoting products by creating and using a blog (Content-driven traffic by using SEO)
  • By sending paid traffic to landing pages (From Facebook, Adwords, Instagram ads, Twitter ads, and some other sources)
  • By using Youtube to promote the products
  • By using the Email list
  • By using Podcasting
  • By giving digital marketing services to clients
  • By placing your banner ads in high traffic sites

You can choose any method to promote affiliate products.  7 years onwards I am earning smart income online using my blog. Here I am discussing how I am using this affiliate marketing business to fulfill my blogging journey. This is a type of Content-driven affiliate marketing.

Step 1: Choose Product to promote

Before you start affiliate marketing, you have to choose the profitable industry to pick the perfect product to promote. Here you need research to pick the right product and know about what others promote.

Step 2: Create a New Blog

To start this journey, you have to start a new blog.  Recently I wrote a complete tutorial on “How to start a Blog“. This guide will help you to start a new blog. You can check the basic requirements to start a new blog.

Step 3: Write content on the chosen Product

Then choose the affiliate product to promote, which are a profitable and perfect fit for your blog. Then write the content on those products by doing smart keyword research. Publish the created content in your blog.

Step 4: Prepare the blog Technically fit

After publishing the content, submit your blog to Google search console (to index your blog for search engine traffic) and Google analytics (to know the statistics of your blog and content performance).

Step 5: Start Email Listing

Connect Email marketing service and start collecting your reader’s emails by providing smart favors like ebooks or services or free goodies etc. For new beginners, Mailchimp and ConvertKit programs are suitable to create sequential emails to automate the funnel.

Step 6: Start Promotion for Traffic

After completing the above setup for starting an affiliate marketing, first, concentrate on driving more traffic by promoting on various social channels also. After a few days, you will get conversions.

For success in affiliate marketing, you have to wait for a few months to make money. I received my first commission after 8 months. Once it started, the money will flood into your Bank account.

Among the above given various channels, blogging is one of the most effective channels to get started with affiliate marketing. Because it has a central role in the digital marketing industry.

To start a new blog you need some investment and you should learn everything about performance marketing. From now, it depends on how much time and dedication put in to make money from affiliate marketing.

Most of the companies offer affiliate marketing programs. This is a very good way to earn a great commission legally.

They provide complete promotional materials like banners, tracking links, coupons, Email swipes, and affiliate guides to learn how to promote their products legally.

So you have to read their terms and conditions (TOS) before starting these programs. The TOS is different from company to company.

In the TOS, you have to read about Cookie policy. The cookie policy is not similar to every company. Basically, they permit a 30 to 150 days cookie period.

It means, if the visitor clicked your referral link, it will be redirected to the landing page. if they do not buy anything, the tracking id will be stored. If the same visitor revisits and completes a purchase on the same site in the next 30 to 150 days, you will get a commission.

How to Find Affiliate Programs to promote?

Most of the companies offer affiliate marketing programs to promote their products online. To know which companies offer these programs, you have to check the official site manually for related information. 

If you are searching for a particular product affiliate marketing program, you can use the Google search by using a specified tag “(Product name) + affiliate program“. Here you have to replace the Product name with the name of your promoting product.

Affilitizer is one of service to help you to find all affiliate programs from Google. This is having an Affilitizer Google chrome extension to smoothen your working flow. You can create tracking links for Amazon and eBay with a single click.

The extension highlights the advertisers who had an Affiliate program within Google search result pages.

It has connected to 70,000+ affiliate marketing programs from 79+ different affiliate networks. practically Affilitizer addon simplified my affiliate marketing program search in google.

Most of the companies run their affiliate marketing programs on their own affiliate dashboard platform. Few of them use Marketplaces like ShareASale, Impact Radius, Commission Junction and ClickBank.

I am the biggest fan of ShareASale. No doubt this is the goldmine affiliate marketplace for every blogger. As a blogger, I am getting most of these referral programs here which are suitable for my niche blogs.

For more than five years as I opened this blog, all this time I focused on the programs and techniques of affiliate marketing and its Affiliate program.

Points to consider before choosing the perfect Product

Starting today I took action, I chose two products I’m going to promote. It is also time for you to choose an earnest company and select a product you sell affiliate members.

Points before choosing an affiliate product for your Blog. Before going to choose the perfect affiliate marketing program, you have to learn about affiliate marketing terms and conditions.

To start affiliate marketing, you have to consider a few points, which are given below.

1. Choose a Free Affiliate marketing program

  • Preferably choose an affiliate product that does not charge a fee. As a beginner, if you are cautious, you are not going to take the risk of spending money before you earn your first dollar.
  • You should educate yourself about the number of commissions paid by affiliates to see if they match the expected hourly rates.
  • Most of the affiliates choose Web Hosting referral Program to earn huge money as commissions. Most of the Affiliate marketing Programs that Pay instantly.
  • Choosing a good affiliate product gives a chance to opt for better affiliate products for your blog niche.

2. Observe product track record

  • Take into account the potential of visitors you can send to the affiliate program that you choose. Inquire whether an affiliate has data on the ratio of selling the product.
  • This will tell you the number of visitors needed to make a sale. These points will help you eliminate programs that will surely make you lose your time.

3. Get Affiliate Links

  • Check the remaining lives of cookies. These are small files containing your affiliate tracking link and will be installed on the visitor’s computer.
  • So when making a purchase, affiliates know who sent the visitor to pay him the commission?
  • As said earlier, the prospects rarely buy a product at their first visit, hence the need to choose a program in which the cookie has a longer lifetime.

4. Choice of Commission rate

  • Your choice will be an affiliate program that pays Okay. most of the affiliate programs pay commissions up to 80%.
  • Physical products offer lower commissions than virtual products. Know that there will be an intermediary between you and the final seller, you will earn less money.
  • Prefer companies that do not rely on others to recruit salespeople.

5. Check the Promotional tools of the Affiliate product

  • A good affiliate program provides tools for support. To facilitate your work, some affiliate programs put promotional tools at your disposal: sales pages, banners, visuals… you can use them to promote their products.
  • Once you have chosen the right product for sale by affiliation, you can start promoting it.
  • Be creative and put in place a system marketing original that sets you apart from other competitors.
  • Enrich your offer in the form of different media such as reports, newsletters, and videos.
  • Use any promotional tool to enhance your prospective customer to buy your product.

Hovering over the link with your mouse, you’ll see that the affiliate ID containing links you have something like this: “http://www.xxxxx.com/ bdcdi” The last part of the link is indicating personal affiliate code in this case “bdcdi”.

This personal code, which represents the seller, the customer comes from your blog.

These links can be left exposed or typed applications can other trending WordPress Link Cloaking plugins. Just choose one of the good plugins from the link as per your requirement.

With this plugin, you can convert the long ugly link to a short beautiful and easily rememberable link.

Just place the link cloaked link within your blog along with the affiliate product. If the visitors click the link, the user redirected to your affiliate product.

How to get an Affiliate link?

It is a specialized tracking link. It offers different referral programs to track your progress in affiliate promotion.

  • To get this link, you have to register an affiliate product.
  • Then log in to their affiliate dashboard, and go for Promotions (or) links (or) referral section.
  • Here you will get the referral link to promote. Affiliate ID will have within the referral link.
  • Just copy the link and shorten it by using the Link cloaking strategy. For this Thirsty affiliates, WordPress plugin is helpful. It gives the readable and easy to remember URL  by converting the ugly referral link.

How to get Affiliate Payment and its basic settings?

Affiliate marketing is one of the proven methods to make money online. After register your details in any referral program, you have to fill all the details like Full Name, Email, and payment details.

In the payment details section, most of the referral programs are offering Paypal integration systems to send your commission.

So you need a PayPal account to receive their commissions. If you have a PayPal account, you should add the Paypal Email in the Affiliate profile. If you are new, you can read my article on How to create a PayPal account and to be verified.

Few of the companies are using the Direct deposit and Wire transfer system to send the money into your bank directly. In this process, you will be charged some commission for the currency conversion. It takes 3 to 5 days to complete this transfer.

What are the most popular Affiliate Marketing Programs for Bloggers?

This is a task that can be run through various media and where we can serve up to our own creativity. Since there are hundreds of Affiliate Marketing Programs, we decided to join this list of the programs that we consider being the most efficient.

Some companies are dedicated exclusively to affiliate marketing programs, uniting digital media advertisers with different brands. So, Here is some Online Affiliate Marketing Programs are listed. Check the list of best online Affiliate marketing programs for internet marketers and Bloggers.

1. ShareASale

shareasale program
  • Shareasale is another popular network of affiliates with a lot of choices in products.
  • It’s simple and easy to register, but it is not the easiest platform to navigate through the available functions.
  • Genesis Framework is one of the most popular WordPress themes referral programs operated by ShareASale.

2. Commission Junction

How to Use Commission Junction to Make Money
  • Commission Junction offers more features than many other affiliate marketing companies.
  • One of its most unique features is a web-based email system that enables affiliates and advertisers to match up with each other.
  • How to Use CJ to Make Money? This makes it easier for both parties to have a means of communication without an intermediary to send the messages.
  • Although the Commission Junction does not classify advertisers as Premium, this is not to say they cannot represent large businesses able to create more traffic through advertising.

3. ClickBank

  • The Clickbank is specializing affiliate marketing marketplace for simple online products and digital downloads like ebooks.
  • With over 10,000 products available online marketers and publishers of websites have a wide choice of links to choose and promote on their website.
  • 6 Million Info products, 200 million customers, and 300,000 digital marketing experts.
  • These are the numbers of ClickBank, a platform that has led entrepreneurship beyond to give all the necessary conditions affiliates to make money from the Internet.

4. Amazon Associates

Amazon associates program
  • There is a huge variety of products to promote, but low commissions. Everyone has heard of Amazon.
  • It is a big player in Internet marketing, and the affiliate can take advantage of this great network.
  • People get up to 15%  of sales generated through links partners.
  • The links direct users to a book or a specific product and owners of websites can publish posters and dynamic devices that display products that change every time the web page is updated.


JVZOO instant affiliate program
  • The JVZoo is relatively new in the affiliate universe.
  • Yet, since its inception in 2009, it has managed thousands of new users, whether sellers or promoters.

6. Rakuten Linkshare

Rakuten LinkShare
  • The purpose of the Rakuten Affiliate Network is to help affiliates partner with a wide variety of recognizable brands (advertisers) in various market sectors, including fashion, entertainment, cooking, DIY, among others.
  • In this way, everyone wins: the advertisers get a new way to disseminate their content and increase the likelihood of the sale; Affiliates get paid a commission when they sell product advertisers.

8. eBay Partner Network

ebay partner network
  • eBay Partner Network is very similar to the Amazon Associates network history.
  • There are a lot of products available for you to promote, and the added advantage of the credibility of eBay is obtained: People know it’s safe to buy on eBay.
  • It is difficult to be welcomed into this network unless you have a website with a lot of quality traffic, which is fair enough, and you need quality traffic to earn a decent commission.

9. WordPress Related Affiliate Marketing Programs

Every blogger and webmasters search for attractive themes for their blogs. If the blog design is good, the visitor will be impressed and becomes your loyal reader.

So most of the bloggers and webmasters will search for better designs to promote.

Here are the few lists of WordPress themes Affiliate marketing programs.

Another important WordPress related affiliate products are WordPress Plugins. They are WP Rocket (Page cache plugin), Elementor Pro (Page Builder plugin) and MythemeShop plugins.
The above-listed programs are most popular. If you promote these programs you will get good commissions.

What are the Best Affiliate Marketing Forums?

Affiliate marketing forums are the most popular places to learn working strategies from successful affiliate marketers. This is the place to get quick answers and to know which highest paying affiliate networks.

In the forums, maximum conversions are being happened about affiliate marketing business. Here I listed a few Affiliate marketing forums to start participating in the discussions by asking a question to the fellow affiliates.

Here is a useful list to learn Affiliate marketing and to solve your queries.

Forum Name Alexa rank DA / PA
1. Warrior Forum


63 / 63
2. Affiliate Fix


38 / 44

3. Digital point Forum


74 / 63

4. SitePoint


87 / 57

5. AffilioRama24,067

51 / 46

6. STM Forum


41 / 40
7. AffplayBook3,964

64 / 33

8. AffLift 26,396

31 / 31

Final Words

I think you got some idea on What Affiliate marketing is and how it works? Every company has a different guide to affiliate marketing promoters to become a better brand product in the industry.

If you’re looking to promote digital productsShareASale, Clickbank and Commission Junction is really one of the best networks. It has high commission rates and a wide variety of products to choose from, many of which are of good quality.

There are plenty of online jobs are available on the internet, like teaching jobs, blogging jobs, SEO jobs, content writers jobs and some other. But most of people choose affiliate marketing to earn a huge income.

I think this article on Affiliate Marketing for beginners are helpful to start your online career in 2020. So by using the above points choose the best affiliate product for your niche and business.

If you have any queries on choosing affiliate products, drop the queries in the below comment system.

If you are already working on affiliate marketing, share your thoughts here.

👉Other Affiliate Marketing Posts

About Author

Hi, I am Satish. Full-time Blogger since 2009 and tech enthusiast. The main motto of this blog is to help newbies to start their blogging as a business. I love to write on Blogging, SEO, Make money online, and Affiliate marketing. If you need any assistance Stay connected and join in our Facebook Community to get industry relavent updates which helps you to connect people like you.

1 thought on “What is Affiliate Marketing and How it Works for Bloggers? (Beginners Guide for 2021)”

  1. Great post, Satish Kumar.

    I’ve used Clickbank, CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction), and Shareasale.

    I haven’t checked out the other 4 you mentioned. So i’ve got something to do later. 🙂



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