How to START Affiliate Marketing for Beginners in 2023!

Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate passive income. It’s one of our main revenue streams here at Primal Video, generating tens of thousands of dollars for us each month – completely on autopilot!

It’s by no means a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, it’s a ‘get rich SMART’ strategy. When carried out properly, this is an awesome way to build sustainable passive income that works in almost any niche.

Important: When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

With the systems we’ve set up, we make money online 24/7 – whether we work and whether we don’t.

But there’s nothing passive about creating it. It takes time and work for you to create real value for your audience.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to get started with affiliate marketing as a beginner. You’ll learn how to implement affiliate marketing in your own successful affiliate marketing business & start generating passive income ASAP!

Here’s exactly what we’ll cover:

Make sure you stick around to the end to hear about some of the top affiliate programs in terms of revenue!

Let’s get started.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when you are paid a commission for referring a sale. So when a person you’ve referred to a product or service makes a purchase or signs up using your affiliate link, you’ll receive a commission or referral fee for driving that sale.

It’s a win, win, win scenario. The company whose product you’re referring to wins because they sell more products. Your audience wins because you’re recommending tools, products, and services that will help them achieve a specific outcome. And you win because you receive a commission.

How to start affiliate marketing for beginners
Affiliate marketing is an awesome way to make passive income

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing might seem complex but it doesn’t need to be! In a nutshell, this is how affiliate marketing works…

You start by registering for an affiliate program for a product you use and would recommend to your best friend.

Once you’ve registered on the affiliate site with that company, you’ll receive a unique link that’s tracked back to you.

Text on screen 'This is a long game. Focus on your audience!'
Focus on providing value to your audience, first and foremost

You can post that link in your YouTube description, emails, blogs, affiliate site or wherever your audience will be able to click on it.

When people click on that link and make a purchase, you receive a commission.

How Much Money Can You Make With Affiliate Marketing?

This comes down to the individual affiliate program.

For a one-time purchase, you might receive a:

  • Fixed dollar amount for referring a sale
  • Percentage of the total sale
Earnings and statistics from affiliate marketing programs
Some affiliate programs will pay you a fixed rate

PRO TIP: With Amazon, you receive a commission for anything that a customer has in their checkout at the time of buying. Your link just needs to be the last one they click before purchasing for the commission to be tracked back to you.

For a subscription you might receive a:

  • One time fee
  • Monthly commission for the length of time that person holds an active subscription

An example is Ecamm Live. This is one of our top recommended live streaming software for Mac.

Ecamm Live website
Ecamm Live is an example of a subscription that pays affiliate revenue

Will Affiliate Marketing Work For Me?

Get creative and think outside of the box. What are the services and tools and things that you use and would recommend to your ideal clients or customers?

To give you some ideas, here are some the things we recommend:

  • Gear: cameras, lenses, tripods, microphones
  • Software: video editing software, live streaming platforms
  • Services: YouTub management tools, membership sites
  • Products & courses
Examples of affiliate products and services
Think about the different products and services that you use and recommend

But this doesn’t just work in the gear and tech niche.

Let’s use another example. If you’re a dog trainer you could recommend:

  • Dog treats
  • Dog toys
  • Harnesses, leads, collars
  • A specific course that stops dogs barking at the front door

If you’re a personal trainer, you could recommend:

  • Gym equipment
  • Nutrients
  • Supplements
  • Fitness wear
A man picking up hand weights at the gym
If you’re in the fitness niche, equipment and weights are a good option

Hopefully now the creative juices are flowing and you’re getting an idea of the kind of products and services you could recommend and start generating affiliate sales from.

How To Start Affiliate Marketing

Now that you’ve got some background, let’s dive into how to start affiliate marketing in your own business.

Start by following these steps:

  1. Write a list of ideas of all the products and services that you use on the day-to-day
  2. Do some research to find out if those products and services have affiliate programs (just Google the product or service name along with ‘affiliate program’)
  3. Apply or register for the affiliate program of your chosen products or services on their affiliate website
  4. Once you’ve been accepted you can log in and grab your unique affiliate link
  5. Share your link in your YouTube videos, descriptions, blogs, social media platforms, emails, etc.  
A woman sitting on a bench writing in a notebook
Write a list of all the different ideas you have

If there are any products and services that you couldn’t find an affiliate network for, reach out and ask them. In some cases they might have one but it’s just not public on their website. In other cases, there might be some other ways you can work with them.

PRO TIP: One really important thing to be aware of is that you need to be familiar with the terms and conditions or Terms of Service of each of the different affiliate programs. Most of them out there are pretty straightforward, but some of them do have some strict requirements.

Our Amazon affiliate disclosure in a YouTube video description
We include this disclosure in ALL of our YouTube video descriptions

Come from a place of integrity! You want to add value for your audience by recommending things you use, know, like and trust.

Don’t recommend products and services just because they have good commissions. The affiliate marketers that do this just come across as sleazy and salesy. They give the affiliate marketing industry a bad name. It won’t help you win the trust of your audience.

By being an authentic affiliate marketer, you are:

  • Helping people make a buying decision
  • Saving them time from doing in depth research themselves
  • Recommending a product that you know is quality and would use yourself
An overhead shot of a man sitting at a desk with a computer and phone
Make sure you’re creating real value for your audience

Affiliate Marketing Pro Tip

This will change the game for your affiliate marketing strategy. Our #1 tip is to use redirect links or to own your link links. Instead of sharing the raw affiliate link that you’ve pulled from an affiliate program, make sure you create a redirect link.

We use a WordPress plugin called Thirsty Affiliates to do this. We create a redirect using the URL format ‘primalvideo.com/go/product-name’ to the affiliate link.

A list of Primal Video affiliate links in a YouTube video description
We use this formatting for all of our affiliate links

There are two main benefits of this:

1. If that affiliate link changes (which does happen from time to time!) and you haven’t created a redirect, you need to go to every single place you inserted that link to update it.

Whereas if you’re just sharing out your own redirect link, all you’d need to do is jump into your redirect service like Thirsty Affiliate and update the link to the new one. Then across all places the redirect link is placed, will be updated.

This will save you a ton of time and headaches.

2. The redirect links look so much better! The affiliate link generated for you is usually long and messy-looking. You can make the link branded to your business and also a lot shorter than the ones pulled straight from an affiliate program.

Thirsty Affiliates website
Thirsty Affiliates is a WordPress plugin that cloaks your affiliate links

Thirsty Affiliates is just one option available, there are lots of other redirect services you can use to manage your affiliate marketing links as well.

Top Affiliate Programs

As promised, here are the top affiliate programs and affiliate networks that we recommend beginner affiliate marketers to check out.

Amazon Affiliate Marketing Program

Amazon sells pretty much everything. You just need to sign up to the Amazon Affiliate Program once and then you can use that program to drive people to a ton of the products you recommend.

For us, this is where we recommend things like microphones, cameras, tripods and any other tools that we recommend people use for a specific outcome.

Amazon homepage
Amazon is a great place to start with affiliate marketing

Remember, the other big benefit of Amazon is that you’re able to receive a commission on everything that’s in someone’s checkout when they make the purchase if yours was the last affiliate link they clicked. This definitely maximizes your affiliate marketing efforts!

Ecamm Live Affiliate Marketing Program

Ecamm Live is the live streaming software that we use and recommend, making it a great option for us as an affiliate program.

They have an ongoing monthly subscription which means our referral fees from them are monthly commissions as well.

You can check out the Ecamm Live Affiliate Program here.

Ecamm Live affiliate program webpage
We’d recommend checking out the Ecamm Live affiliate program if this suits your niche

ActiveCampaign & ConvertKit Affiliate Marketing Programs

These are email marketing platforms that we’ve used to run our business on in the past. They’re awesome tools that we recommend for people to help grow their email lists, revenue and business online.

ConvertKit is the option we recommend for beginners or users who just want basic tools.

ActiveCampaign is the platform we recommend for intermediate users or anyone wanting more advanced tools and flexibility.

Both of these are monthly subscription services. This means we receive a percentage of what users pay if they signed up with our link as affiliate sales.

These platforms also happen to be popular amongst affiliate marketers!

Check out the ConvertKit Affiliate Program and the ActiveCampaign Affiliate Program to see if they might be right for you.

A person stacking gold coins in a row
Now you know how to start affiliate marketing for beginners!

So those are some of our top affiliate networks, but there really is no limit to how many affiliate programs you could be a part of – as long as you’re coming from that place of integrity!

Now you know how to start affiliate marketing as a strategic affiliate marketer and the top things you can do to maximize your affiliate marketing success.

If you’re serious about growing and scaling your affiliate income, then having an email list is one of the most powerful ways to do it. Check out our free training on How To Grow An Email List Organically.

FAQ

How can I become an affiliate marketer?

The first step to becoming an affiliate marketing is figuring out which products, services, software, etc. you use and recommend in your niche. Then check if they have affiliate programs online that you can join.

Can you start affiliate marketing with no money?

Absolutely! You can follow the process above to start affiliate marketing with no money.

What does an affiliate marketer do?

An affiliate marketer shares products they recommend with their audience. When someone uses their link to make a purchase, the affiliate marketer usually receives a percentage or fixed rate of the cost.


Recommended Gear & Resources

Check out an up-to-date list of all the gear, software & tools we use and recommend right now at Primal Video on our resources page here!

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