How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business

First question, what is affiliate marketing? You have seen it a lot these days. 

Someone you know talked about making money from it and you are interested in learning how to start. To be honest, there are thousand and one ways to make money online and several online earning platforms these days – affiliate marketing is one of these ways.

The great thing about affiliate marketing is that, like dropshipping, you don’t need to create a digital product yourself. However, unlike dropshipping, you do not compulsorily need an eCommerce website, although this could help.

Once you have a high-traffic medium or an online channel to advertise the affiliate products, then you are good to go. But, this is not all you need to become successful as an affiliate marketer.

Let’s find out in this article.

So, without wasting more time, let’s begin.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of third-party advertising. It is a type of eCommerce marketing in which a business rewards you or pays you a commission for each visitor or customer you bring to them. Meaning, they pay you for advertising or selling their products.

We can liken affiliate marketers to re-branded and refurbished salespersons. You have the authority to market your affiliate links in whatever way you like as long as it does not go against the affiliate program’s policy.

There are a lot of rules and policies guiding different affiliate programs. Most of them have the same basic ideas and are quite easy to follow. A lot of people have made whooping 7-figure incomes from affiliate marketing, and you can join that train today.

Now, to the multi-million dollar question, how do you start affiliate marketing? Read on for tips and tricks for starting your affiliate marketing business. 

We also compiled 8 of the best affiliate marketing programs you can join today.

5 Tips for Starting Your Affiliate Marketing Business

So, what do you need to start affiliate marketing? Here are some key things you need for your affiliate marketing business.

  1. Select your platform
  2. Build your traffic
  3. Choose the right affiliate program
  4. Research the products
  5. Promote and market your affiliate links

1. Select your Platform

The first thing you must have is a website, blog, or an eCommerce marketplace platform where you can host your affiliate links. Most affiliate programs will ask you to check out your website or blog before they approve your application. So, you must have a functional platform.

Another important tip is most affiliate marketers are bloggers, or content marketers, meaning you need to be able to craft great, convincing content. Your content can be about anything really, but make sure the niche you choose fits the products you want to market.

That way it is easy to write an article or a review about that product without sounding too salesy to your audience.

Tip: There are free eCommerce website builders you can use to build your website. You can try WordPress hosting or Blogger too.

Recommended Reading: How to Start a Blogging Business

2. Build your Traffic

This is where your money lies. The more traffic you get, the more possibility of getting people to use your affiliate links. 

Traffic is the most important thing to an affiliate marketer. The reason these businesses started an affiliate program in the first place is to get more customers to buy their products.

Most affiliate programs will also check out your website traffic before approving you as an affiliate partner. Two sure ways to build your traffic are content marketing and social media marketing. These are proven marketing efforts that have helped a lot of marketers.

Giving your audience informational and educative content based on what they want will help you gain more views for your website and blog. Also, using viral hashtags on social media will help direct traffic to your website pages.

Content marketing will help you convince your audience to click the link. You can use review-type articles, a resources page, or simple comparison blog articles. 

There is also social media marketing, where you use convincing social posts to persuade your audience. Another great way to build traffic is through email marketing and lead generation.

3. Choose the Right Affiliate Marketing Program

There are hundreds of affiliate marketing programs available today. Choosing the right one is very important. When choosing, there are some things you should consider. You need to ask yourself a question most affiliate marketers ask, ‘is this the right program for me?’

The first thing to consider when choosing an affiliate program is the type of products that they want you to sell. Do these products suit your website niche and topic? Can you easily market these links with your content?

Another factor you need to decide on is if the program can accept beginners. The fact that you are just starting out means you are still quite low on the type of traffic some of these programs ask for. 

Also, consider the reputation of the brand, are they likely to just up and disappear? It is important to consider all these factors before you click the signup button. Check out their payment and payout plans, if it is something you are cool with, then you can continue.

Tips: The affiliate programs in our list were compiled for those just starting with affiliate marketing. However, you need to check out the niches.

4. Research the Products

Checking out the products is very essential. You may need to even buy these products and use them; this will aid in your review. 

Make sure to check out what other users and affiliate marketers say about the products. Another thing that will help you is to research the type of products your audience wants. This will help you know the ones to market. 

According to affiliate market surveys, digital goods and products sell more than physical products. So, you may consider selling digital goods too.

Tips: Researching the products you want to sell will help you promote it better.

5. Promote your Affiliate Links

You can choose to promote your affiliate marketing links through content marketing, email marketing, incentive programs, offline marketing, or even by using banner ads on another website. 

Most affiliate programs will ask how you want to promote their products. It is important that you get a strategy for promoting these links. One thing about promoting your link is that, although it may cost you some money, it will definitely get you results.

Top 8 High-Paying Affiliate Marketing Programs

1. Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is one of the highest-paying affiliate marketing programs available. With a variety of products available for marketing, the Amazon affiliate program will fit any niche you choose. 

As you already know, Amazon is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms online.

All new applications are placed on a 180-day probationary period. This means that if your links do not make any sales within that period, your application will be canceled. Amazon Associates is a great place to start for beginners.


  • Niche Info: eCommerce business
  • Great for beginners
  • Variety of products to choose from
  • 24-hour window to earn commission after someone uses your affiliate links
  • Easy sign-up
  • Payment is either by direct bank deposit, Amazon gift card, or check

Payout Models

They run a volume-based fee structure. This means that the more products that get sold through your links, the more money you make per sale.

Commission Rates

Depends on the product category, but can be anything between 1.0% and 10.0%. Below is a screenshot of the breakdown of their commission rates. Learn more here.

amazon associate affiliate marketing commission payout model

amazon associate affiliate marketing commission payout model

amazon associate affiliate marketing commission payout model

2. Dreamhost

Dreamhost is a top-ranking web hosting provider in the world. If you are in the blogging niche, then the Dreamhost affiliate program is one you should sign up for. 

With a payout of up to $200/sign-up, Dreamhost is unarguably one of the best-paying affiliate programs available.


  • Niche Info: Web hosting provider
  • Beginners can sign up
  • Just one product to sell, but no limit on earnings
  • Free to join, and applying just takes a few minutes
  • The payment process takes up to 97 days after each complete sale
  • You get paid via PayPal

Payout Models

Due to their 97-day money-back guarantee, the Dreamhost payment process takes up to 97 days.

Commission rates

Depending on the web hosting plan that the referred customer signs up for, commission rates can vary between $15 – $200.

3. Google Suite

Google is a very popular name across the world. Their innovative products have changed the digital world as we all know it. With a lot of programs centered around bringing technology to the average person, it is no surprise that Google will also run an affiliate program.



  • Niche Info: Business
  • Easy to sign up
  • Only available in some countries
  • Payment is via direct deposits
  • You also get discounts for your referrals
  • For each referred account’s first 100 users, you get a reward

google workspace affiliate program payout structure

Payout Models

Payout is via direct deposit into your bank account.

Commission rates

Payment varies and depends on the plan the user signs up for. You get paid $15 for each user who signs up with your referral link for the basic plan. $30 for a business or enterprise plan, and up to $3000 for domain registration.

4. WP Engine

WP Engine is another leading web hosting provider that runs an affiliate program. If your blog or website covers web hosting or design topics, then this program is for you. WP Engine is a recognized WordPress hosting platform.

Their hosting plans are aimed at pro bloggers, businesses, and companies that require high-level hosting. The affiliate program they offer is also one of the best, easy to join and set up.


  • Niche Info: Web hosting provider
  • Anyone can sign up, no matter the experience level 
  • Payment is via PayPal or ACH
  • You can sell either WP Engine or StudioPress themes
  • Up to 180 days window to earn commission

Payout Models

Earn commission with each successful referral you make to WP Engine or StudioPress. Payouts also depend on the hosting plan that the customer signs up for.

Commission rates

The minimum commission you can earn with WP Engine is $200 per sale. You can also get up to 35% rates on StudioPress sales.

5. Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout is a podcast hosting provider that helps users monitor and promote their podcast channels. If you blog about podcasting, or you probably own a podcast channel, then you can make money from signing up on Buzzsprout.

However, you need to have a podcast account with them to sign up for their affiliate program.

Recommended Reading: Beginner’s Guide to Podcasting


  • Niche Info: Podcast hosting provider
  • You just need to have an account with them
  • Free to use
  • Low commission
  • Few products to sell

Payout Models

Each referred customer gets a $20 Amazon gift card.

Commission rates

Buzzsprout pays up to $25 for each successfully referred paid customer.

6. Shopify

Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows users to manage and grow their businesses. They offer point-of-sale systems, and you can set up your online store with them. 

Additionally, Shopify offers the full eCommerce package for any business. They are also the best option for starting your drop-shipping business. 

With the Shopify affiliate program, you can earn up to $2000 per Shopify Plus referral.


  • Niche Info: eCommerce platform
  • Free to join
  • Self-hosted affiliate program
  • Great for bloggers of marketing or business niches
  • Payment is via PayPal

Payout Models

No minimum sales requirement. Payout is 5 business days after the 15th of every month following successful referral sign-up.

Commission rates

The commission depends on the paid plan that each user signs up for. Usually, it is an average of $58 for a paid plan and $2000 for each Shopify Plus referral sign-up.

7. IP Vanish

IPVanish is one of the best VPN providers in the world. Their VPN offers speed, security, and the best pricing plans. IPVanish makes it possible to browse the internet anonymously and access any website, across the world.

Their affiliate program is one of the best in the industry. Plus, you will earn commissions for every valid purchase that is not canceled in the first month.


  • Niche Info: VPN service provider
  • Easy to sign up
  • Payments are via PayPal
  • Great conversions
  • $100 minimum payout threshold

Payout Models

You need to have a minimum of $100 in your balance before a payout can be made.

Commission rates

For the first month, you get 100% commission rates, with recurring rates of 35%.

8. Bluehost

Bluehost is a web hosting platform, among the largest in the world. They offer the best web hosting platforms for bloggers and website developers. Bluehost only covers one niche and product category, so you need to consider this when choosing their affiliate program.

However, if you are a blogger, content developer, or website designer, then the program is perfect for you. Bluehost also provides banner codes that you can integrate directly into your website’s HTML source code.

The program is also great for beginners.


  • Niche Info: Web Hosting
  • Great for starters
  • Just one product to choose
  • Easy sign up
  • The payment process takes between 45 – 60 days after each complete and successful sale
  • Payment method is via PayPal

Payout Models

Payments are made after every 45 – 60 days of a complete sales.

Commission rates

They pay up to $65, with an increase in commission available based on the volume of sales you generate, per sale.

There You Have It!

There are a lot of affiliate programs in the world today. With these tips, you are set to launch your affiliate marketing business. It is easy to start and once you have the right marketing strategy in place, you will begin making your money in no time.


Hey there! This website is sponsored by affiliate partners.

We are proud affiliates for some of these tools. Affiliate links are used for each tool that we are an affiliate of, which means that if you click that link and subsequently make a purchase, we will earn a commission. You pay nothing extra – any commission we earn comes at no additional cost to you.

Meet the Writer

Joanna Okedara-Kalu

Writer & Blogger

Hello! I'm Tiwalade Joanna Okedara-Kalu, Creative Director at Techdella. With a rich background in tech freelancing and a passion for innovation, I'm excited to shape Techdella into the ultimate tech business hub. Join me on this journey of exploration and creativity in the world of technology!

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