How to start an affiliate marketing blog in 2023 – 10 easy steps

How to start an affiliate marketing blog in 10 easy steps

Table of Contents

We are seeing a visible hustle in the online world. Everyone is talking about different ways of making money online and indeed there are many options available too. But you if you are starting a business like e-commerce, you might need some investment to back up your plan.

So one may wonder what options are there that do not require any significant investment for initial start up. Well affiliate marketing can pave your way.

Affiliate marketing has been on the rise for past couple of years, and yet it is very easy to set up the whole process in the place for a successful affiliate marketing business.

One of them is setting up an affiliate marketing blog for an easy side income. You know the unique thing about this business is you don’t need any investment other than buying up a domain and a hosting for your blog/ website.

In this article we will provide you each and every detail that you will need to set up a successful affiliate marketing business.

1. What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a way of earning commission in which you recommend someones product or service and get rewarded on each sale or a referral via affiliate link.

In this business model you just have to worry about sales by promoting certain product or service instead of managing inventory or stock. The more to sell the more money you make along the way.

The amount of commission can range from few cents to hundreds of dollars. Mostly the commission is a certain percentage on total sales value of a product or it is rewarded as fixed amount.

Overall, it is a low cost and low risk business model that requires almost no heft upfront cost like a traditional business set up. And affiliate marketing business is very easy to scale as it gives you the access to a wide range of products even from different companies.

So I hope that we have understood a fundamental concept of affiliate marketing so far. Now let’s dig deeper!

2. How does it actually works?

So it works in a pretty simple way by getting an affiliate link from an affiliate program of your choice. You actually find an affiliate program and apply to it as an affiliate. If your application gets approved then you get a URL also known as affiliate link.

This link is completely unique and have a specific ID that allows the merchant to track the sales made by you.

When the customer clicks on this affiliate link a small cookie files gets generated and stored on their browser which typically have an expiration date.

Cookies expiry date usually range from 15-30 days, however merchant can set it for 24 hours at lower end up to more than a year. So if a customer makes a purchase within few days while the cookie is stored in your device then you will still get your commission.

Let me explain this in 5 easy steps:

  • You find a product and its affiliate link
  • You promote it on you website or a blog
  • Someone clicks the product link on your site
  • Gets re-directed to merchant’s store
  • Even if they make a purchase after a delay you will still get the commission on sale

So now from the information that we read so far, we can conclude that there are 3 primary entities involved in affiliate marketing:

  1. The Merchant
  2. The Affiliate
  3. The Customer

The merchant is the owner of the product or services and they have to manage all of the product inventory, shipping, support, etc.

The affiliate is the person that actually promote the product from the merchant via various channels like website, social media, email, youtube, social media, etc. And the main goal is to boost up sales.

And finally here comes the customer who actually purchases the product or a service.

So I hope that now you have a basic understanding of the affiliate marketing and its process. If there is still any confusion then don’t worry, you will have a clear concept of how it works at the end of this article.

3. Set up your own affiliate marketing blog

You may be wondering why there is even a need for a website for affiliate marketing. Well affiliate marketing can be done in two ways either a good or bad way. The bad one may not be that helpful to you i.e. promoting affiliate links on social media, groups, forums.

Such type of promotion will compromise the trust among your customer and only be helpful in short run. This way is usually a bad way to promote affiliate products as platforms like meta doesn’t allow promoting links and consider it a spam.

Coming to the second way, affiliate marketing via blog or website will help you build trust among the customers and give a sene of authenticity. Such type of affiliate promotion on valid website will give you exceptional results and it is beneficial in a long run.

So it is clear now that in order to run a successful affiliate marketing business you may need an affiliate marketing blog in place to get started.

So here are some steps that you must follow to create an affiliate marketing blog to start promoting affiliate products right away!

3.1. Find your niche

It is a very first step in setting up your affiliate business. A niche is the market or a segment about which you want to talk about or have an interest in.

A market niche can be anything area of field like sports, clothing, digital marketing, etc. However these are some broader form of niches. For example, if we dig down sports niche further, then football would be more specific niche.

It is better to choose more specific niche for your blog also known as micro niche, in oder to get effective results and it also helps in SEO of your site. Moreover it also allows you to build more focused audience to target.

However identifying a niche for you is a bit challenging task. But don’t worry we are here to help you find a perfect niche for you. Here are some key points that you must consider to narrow down a suitable niche for you:

  • Try out searching for niche that you are passionate about. Starting with a niche of your interest will help you do a better work up. Promoting the products of your interest will make your work more enjoyable and efficient. If you have the knowledge of a certain area then you can explain it better.
  • After identifying a niche or area of your interest, you might be doing its competitors analysis, to understand where you competitors are standing right now.
  • Then you have to look for its market demand. Are people talking about it online? Is it all time or seasonal? Can you figure out USP for this niche

These points will help you break down a larger area into more specific segments. And you will be able to understand where you can take a good start.

3.2. Start your website

Some of you may be thinking that “How can I create a website? Im not a tech guy”.

Well I can understand your concerns. But you know what? Now a days you can easily set up your own website with any of the available CMS options out there like, wordpress, squarespace, wix, etc.

The most popular among these platforms is wordpress as it give you access to a large library of theme templates and plugins to make your work easier. And you can easily set up your whole website by just dragging and dropping elements into your site.

And for hosting you may consider different options by comparing their plans. Some of the most popular web hosting options are bluehost, hostgator, godaddy, and hostinger, etc. And all of them are offering a great package for their users.

Your theme should have a clean and attractive overall look with extraordinary user experience. As it will make users explore your website more easily.

A well structured website with proper internal linking will help improve the navigation and SEO of your site.

All of these things will signal Google to rank your site in better position for more organic reach and you might be able to direct your traffic using affiliate links to increase your sales

3.3. Choose a suitable affiliate program

As you are done with identifying your target market and setting up your website, now you must start searching for different brands in your niche and check if they are offering any affiliate commissions for their product or service.

While choosing an affiliate program you must take into account some important consideration. For example there are 3 main types of affiliate programs that are opted by marketers:

  1. Low commission, high volume — Like the name suggest such type of programs are low paying but you get the access to a large variety of affiliate products. You have to generate a good amount of traffic to earn revenue in these types of programs and such type of programs are suitable for beginners. A good example for such program is Amazon.
  2. High commission, low volume — With these programs you can earn. a handsome revenue by selling fewer products. Such program include luxury products like jewellery, watches, hubspot etc
  3. High commission, high volume — These programs will pay you a very good amount in commission however they are very competitive due to their attractive offer. Examples are credit cards, web hosting affiliate programs

There are also some other things that you must check while choosing an affiliate program like their overall brand reputation in the market, because it will negatively impact your campaign if the product has a bad image in the market.

You should also look for what kind of support they are offering. Like is there onboarding great enough and are they offering any additional value to their affiliates like a dedicated support officer, or helping them by providing useful material for marketing purpose.

Another important aspect is the cookie expiry duration as it usually range from 1 to 30 days. however if the period is short then you still get the benefit. But a long period cookie will give you some bonus time to convert your customers and generate more revenue.

So all of these key points will help you take a step further towards building a successful affiliate marketing blog.

3.4. Deliver excellent content

Creating high quality content for your website is a very crucial aspect of making a successful affiliate marketing business. If your content is poorly written and the affiliate placements are irrelevant then its going to be like waiting forever to get a good traffic on your blog.

Google guidelines (EEAT) simply tell us to deliver relevant and high quality content to our audience so that Google understands that we are taking this business seriously. A good relevant content that aligns with the interests of your audience in your niche will bring your more conversions and organic traffic.

The goal is to convince your current audience to have a trust in your website. High quality content is a high priority for a marketer to increase engagements of your audience. With increased traffic you will get to rank in better positions of SERP.

Excellent content is the one that solves audience’s problems, gives answer to their questions, enlightens them with FAQs.

And yes including useful keywords in your content having good traffic is a must. For example if you are writing the terms that people aren’t using in their search queries, will not help you get significant traffic.

Make use of long tail keywords as they have low competition and are easier to rank. You can use tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz, Google Keyword Planner etc to get some assistance with your keyword research work.

For affiliate marketing blog, content creation can be done by a number of methods. Some of the most popular methods are:

  • Product Reviews are very important and most popular form of content creation among affiliate marketers. As 92% of consumers first look for the product review at least once before making a purchase.
  • Product Comparisons is another type of method that marketers use for content creation. They perform thorough comparison of two similar products by listing their pros and cons.
  • Product Roundups is similar to product comparisons however it is made between relevant products in a same category.
  • Tutorials clearly gives a step-by-step instructions about a certain product or a service. In this way the user will have a complete knowledge of that product before making a purchase.
  • Resource Pages are the compilation of different tools and resources that may address the audience’s problems. However this type of content doesn’t get you high conversion but it can increase your website’s authority
  • Ebooks are the best way to gather leads by offering a comprehensive content on a certain topic to your audience. Such type of method helps you target the audience by building an email list and reaching them with product recommendations.

3.5. Improve conversion of your affiliate links

Even if you have created an excellent content, it will not assure that you will achieve the expected conversion for your affiliate marketing campaign. So you have to make some changes to your page in order to maximize conversion of your affiliate links.

Here are some few things that you should consider;


Using callouts effectively can help you grab the reader’s attention and make the content more easy to read. Callouts are also known as text boxes. They are used to divert the focus of a reader to more important information in the blog.

They can be used for special quotes, statistics, or featured products that help the user to make more informed decision during their visit to your page.

Link Placement

Appropriate link placement is very important to make users interact with your page. People will more likely respond to your affiliate link with clear call to action. For example, Read more review, Checkout our top 10 products, etc

Your links should be placed more at the top and mid of the page rather than at the bottom as very few people actually scroll to the bottom of a website.

Avoid making excessive links as it will make your page look more fishy. There should be a harmony and balance in your overall link placement strategy.

Pop ups

Too many popups are very annoying for the audience but you will be surprised to know that they have a high conversion rate.

They behave like a CTA for customers to take a decision. For example you may show a special discount offer on a certain product using a popup.

In this way to can also retain your customers by keeping them engage with something special to offer them.

Graphs, charts and comparison table

Using product comparison table with graph charts, and specific features will be very effective in helping your audience to choose most suitable product for them.

You can simply place link to each product within comparison table that will land the customer to affiliate merchant page like Amazon.


Affiliate links should be placed in a way that people understand where they would land after clicking the link. In short embedding links to the words with meaning and context helps you get more conversion. Here is the example of using links with bad and good context

Bad way;

Well today is we are going to explore worlds’ best tourism sports.

Good way;

Product XYZ is the finest product you may find in the market.

More sensible direct links with a perfect context would make a real difference in making your content look more interactive and user friendly.

3.6. Promote your content by driving traffic

Once your affiliate marketing blog has a significant amount of content in place. Then now its time to drive a traffic to your site by all means. Driving more traffic will result in more potential customers interacting with your site with chances of conversion to generate revenue.

Let’s see look how can we do it effectively!

The most important technique to generate traffic to your website is by doing a proper SEO work up to your site. As optimized site tends to rank in better search result positions and get you more organic exposure.

Some of the other methods to generate traffic are:

  • Setting up Email Campaigns: A great email campaign help you connect with potential buyers. You can directly engage with them by offering them products recommendations, updates, special offers and discounts vi newsletters. It is a great and effective method if done properly.
  • Boost with Social Media: You should start promoting your brand on different social media platforms. As increasing brand awareness will result in gaining more engagements and followers online. You must incorporate different social media strategies like post optimization, content scheduling, use of hashtags to increase your organic reach on social media. Choosing suitable platforms should depend up on your audience demographics.
  • Participiate in Forum: Joining online forums like Quora and Reddit while actively participating in them gives you chance to connect with your audience. It overalls build a trust with your audience.
  • Write Guest Posts: Guest posting is yet another way of connecting with sites in your niche and get their traffic directed to yours.
  • Paid Traffic: If you don’t want to go for these methods and you want an instant results then you can direct paid traffic to your site via different marketing campaigns like PPC, Facebook/Instagram ads, etc. However you must consider setting up your marketing budget and tracking your campaign for optimization order to get high ROI.

3.7. Develop a clear affiliate marketing funnel

Laying a perfect sales funnel for your customers is very important for affiliate marketing success. You should track your buyers progress along the journey to target them effectively.

As all of us know that a simple marketing funnel is as follows:

  • Awareness: Targeting your audience group at more broader level or simply prospecting
  • Consideration: Potential customer show some intent towards buying your product
  • Conversion: The prospect successfully converted to a customer after making a purchase
  • Loyalty: Customer added to loyalty program after repeated visits and purchases.

So it all start up by warming up the cold leads and then converting some of the potential hot leads. Email campaigns are a great way to target your audience for effective conversions by tracking their behaviour along the journey within the sales funnel.

Its starts with collecting leads by offering them free downloadable Ebooks, tutorials, resources. Then directing them to the landing pages with affiliate product links in place. And retargeting them by keeping them engaged with regular emails will finally convert some of the prospects in to customers.

Check out this article to get more comprehensive details on How to successfully build an email list.

3.9. Secure your affiliate link

Another most important step is to secure your link from hijackers by cloaking it. This is a process of or hiding your original affiliate link by using a redirect. It is actually done by replacing the original URL with a dummy one.

For example; (Affiliate link)

After cloaking; (Cloaked link)

So it helps make a long complicated URL with so many numbers and characters in to a pretty short one with your desired given names.

Cloaking will also help you prevent any malicious attacks by hijackers who can illegally use your affiliate link to steal your hard earned commissions.

Moreover with cloaking your affiliate link looks more aesthetically pleasing and use friendly. Cloaked link also helps you avoid being blocked by ad blockers.

Link rots can also be avoided using link cloaking, it happens when affiliate link gets modified without you being realizing.

If you are using WordPress then you can utilize different plugins to cloak your affiliate links. The most popular link cloaking plugins are Pretty Links and ThirtyAffiliates.

3.10. Keep on testing and optimizing the results

Monitoring your affiliate marketing campaign and tracking your progress will help you look for any flaws in your current strategy.

A continuous analysis should be done by gathering sales data on daily basis is the key to make a successful affiliate marketing campaign. This can be done by using different analytics tools in the market.

Most of the affiliate programs provide access to the dashboard with different insights to keep a track on your affiliate sales and performance.

However you can also choose some other tools to keep a track on all of your affiliate campaigns so that you can optimize them for better results and generating more revenue. Some of the most popular tools are Post Affiliate Pro, Voluum, etc.

You can also install some of the popular plugins like Monsterinsights if your are using wordpress CMS. As it will help you keep an eye on the overall traffic of a certain affiliate product.

How much can you make with affiliate marketing blog?

The amount of money you can make with an affiliate marketing blog depends on several factors, including the niche you choose, the quality of your content, the size and engagement of your audience, and the affiliate programs you join.

In general, successful affiliate marketers can earn anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per month. Some top-tier affiliate marketers earn six or seven-figure incomes annually.

However, it’s important to note that earning money through affiliate marketing requires time, effort, and dedication. Success is not guaranteed, and your earnings will depend on many factors beyond your control, such as changes in algorithms or the performance of the products or services you promote.

It’s also important to remember that affiliate marketing should be treated as a business. This means investing time and resources into building your brand, creating quality content, and promoting your site through various channels.

If you’re willing to put in the work, remain patient, and stay focused, then the potential for earning a lucrative income through affiliate marketing is certainly there.

Mistakes to avoid as a beginner affiliate marketer

As a beginner affiliate marketer, there are several mistakes you should avoid to increase your chances of success. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Promoting too many products: Promoting too many products can confuse your audience and dilute your message. Focus on promoting a select few high-quality products that are relevant to your niche.
  2. Choosing the wrong niche: Choosing a niche that you’re not passionate about or that doesn’t have a large enough audience can hurt your chances of success. Research different niches and choose one that you’re interested in and has potential.
  3. Not building an email list: Building an email list is essential for engaging with your audience and promoting your products. Collect email addresses from your website visitors and use them to send newsletters and promotional content.
  4. Ignoring SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for driving traffic to your website. Make sure your site is optimized for search engines by using relevant keywords and producing high-quality content.
  5. Not disclosing affiliate links: It’s important to disclose that you’re promoting affiliate links to your audience. This helps build trust and credibility with your audience.
  6. Focusing more on commissions: While it’s important to earn commissions, focus on providing value to your audience first. Provide useful information and help solve their problems, and the commissions will follow.

Avoiding these common mistakes can help you establish yourself as a successful affiliate marketer. Remember to stay patient, persistent, and focused on providing value to your audience.

Wrap up

Affiliate marketing is a great business that can be easily started with almost no upfront cost. And it is easily scalable thanks to its flexible model as we can promote a wide range of affiliate products from different merchants globally. As an affiliate you don’t have to worry about product fulfilment like managing inventory, stock, delivery or customer support.

If you want to see extraordinary results then you might start working on creating an affiliate marketing blog. And for this purpose you have to follow a series of steps from identifying a niche to finally promoting the products via blog and optimizing your affiliate marketing campaign/s to generate more revenue.

Developing an SEO strategy is a must as it plays a significant role in driving traffic to your website by ranking it on google searches.

You have to keep it in your mind that you cannot achieve an overnight success with business model. If you are not able to put your dedicated hours of efforts, energies and hardwork then you might not be able to see any results.

So if you want to be an affiliate marketer then start working on identifying your niche and setting up your affiliate marketing blog. As of now you have enough knowledge to start as a beginner.

Good Luck!

Leave a Comment