Affiliate Marketing Guide To Earning Money Online

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money working from home.

Affiliate marketing by definition is the process of earning a commission by promoting a product that someone or a company offers. And believe me, affiliate marketing is a churning industry with a lot of big opportunities to earn money online.

The best part of affiliate marketing is the fact that you rarely need an initial investment or time to make a product. The products are already there to promote and earn income from.

There’s no shortage when it comes to the best affiliate marketing programs. They’re literally everywhere.

You probably came here today for one main reason, you want to make money online, right? I was in your same shoes years ago. I wanted to make money online. I was tired of my dead end job. I saw others using affiliate marketing and I saw their lifestyle. I saw their freedom and I saw their success. My exact thought, “I can do this, I want financial freedom, I want that lifestyle.” And here I am today making a lot of money not only with my web development business, but through affiliate marketing.

There’s NO reason you can’t succeed with affiliate marketing. You just need to be properly trained and guided. I’m going to help you with that. Everything you need is in my affiliate marketing guide and the information here is free. Sure, I could of wrote an ebook, made a few thousand dollars but this is my way of giving back. I want to help you make more money. I want to change your life forever. I want to put money into your pockets so you can live the life you always wanted.

(1) Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing

If you’re looking for an easy way to make money, I’m going to be honest with you, “it doesn’t exist.” Don’t believe everything you hear about affiliate marketing because most of what you hear and see is inaccurate at best. It takes hard work to get to the level you likely want to be at, but it can be done. If you’re willing to put the work in, my friend, you can and will succeed.

Now, the first order of business is finding the right affiliate marketing program or products. It’s time to get serious. It’s time to do your research. There’s thousands of affiliate programs in every country. There’s even more products. I’m a firm believer in believing what I sell. Let me explain, the affiliate programs that I chose were for a reason, I either like the company, their products or their services. I don’t just sell because I can and I would advise you to think in the same manner.

Do you have to follow my rules to be successful at affiliate marketing? No you don’t, if you want to only target big priced affiliate products, that is your choice. However, I’ve never lied to my audience and I’ve always guided through my own personal experiences. If you don’t know, understand and use the products or services you sell, I find that there’s often a lack of passion and understanding in how you promote it. That can scare people away and that’s the last thing you want to do.

I’m going to discuss a lot in this guide. You can always bookmark if needed. I love connecting with you all, you’re more than welcome to ask questions below. If you know other people trying to make money online, please do share our content. There’s more than enough money out there to be made for all of us, believe me. Don’t let that sidetrack you. I’m here to help, guide you and give you the resources needed to be successful with affiliate marketing.

Before we get into everything, again, you need to find an affiliate program to join or a product (or products) that you want to sell. Take the time now to search through Google. Some affiliate programs have rules. In most cases, you need a website to join a company’s program. So as your researching and looking for affiliate programs and products, you’ll need to also start thinking about a domain to use.

Bluehost Hosting With WordPress(2) You Have To Get Hosting And A Domain

The first order of business is choosing an affiliate marketing program or a product. I don’t want you to just choose anything. Think about the industry you’d like to be in, think about products you like. Why did I ask you to do research on Google to look for affiliate programs? One main reason, your soon-to-be domain. In order to be successful at affiliate marketing, you HAVE to have a domain. No questions about it. Why not get a domain and then look for programs? Simple, SEO. If you don’t know what affiliate program you’re going to join or what you’re going to sell, how will you pick the right domain name? You can’t. This is exactly why we need to find what we’ll sell first and choose a name based on that.

What’s SEO? SEO is also known as search engine optimization. SEO is what I’m going to teach you (covered in another article) so you’ll be able to drive targeted traffic to your domain. If you already have a domain, you can use it. As you can clearly see, we use  However, some of our affiliate marketing products and services are in SEO, web development and marketing. If you use a current domain that you have, as long as you SEO the website as needed, you can still see success. But if possible, your domain URL should be associated with products and services you sell.

Domain Name

If you find an affiliate marketing program that has shoes to sale, and this is the industry you want to cover, you should consider choosing a domain URL to match. Somewhere, you’d want shoes in the URL. If you’re wanting to cover real estate properties, you’d want to get real estate in the domain. If you’re covering an affiliate service that is only in New York, you’d want to get the geographical location in the URL. There’s benefits to this. However, you may not be able to get the name you want, it happens. And if that’s the case, you’ll need to focus a little more on search engine optimization.


Having the right hosting company is important. I choose to go with Bluehost and I would recommend that you do to. Bluehost is a reliable and dependable hosting company. They have a great support system, great customer service. I’ve been associated with them for years. If you do get Bluehost, I do make commissions. It does support me and I’m thankful for that. But as I said earlier, I don’t promote tools, software, services or products that I don’t use myself or believe in. You need a good hosting company to host your website and not only is Bluehost one of the best, it’s also one of the most affordable. You MUST get a domain, a subdomain is not an option. You need a unique domain and hosting account. You can get your hosting account here.


The great thing about Bluehost is the fact that you can easily get your website up and running. When you have your domain and hosting account set, you still need an application for your website. And since WordPress is one of the best CMS (content management systems) in the world, I highly suggest you use WordPress also. Our website here at Hale Web Development is a WordPress theme, we use Divi. Now, there’s literally thousands of free WordPress themes out there. However, premium WordPress themes are often better. Usually, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20-$150 for a premium WordPress theme. But if you go to Elegant Themes, you can get 87 themes and (lifetime) access for around $250. In 10 years, I’ve never come across a deal this good.

Get access to 87 themes and plugins for your affiliate marketing campaigns. Again, I do make a commission and appreciate your support.

Features And Functionality Of WordPress

And if 87 themes for that price isn’t enough to entice you, you also get access to their powerful WordPress plugins. Ricky, why are you so big on this package? Here’s the deal, if your website doesn’t look professional, you’re not going to see success. A professional website is a trust factor. Do you buy from companies you don’t trust? No you don’t. With WordPress, you get easy to use themes that require little to no programming experience to make. With plugins, you’ll be able to add features and functionality to your website. A professional website is only a part of the battle, you still have to follow the rest of the steps in my guide to ensure your best shot for success.

If you’re serious about affiliate marketing, this is a great investment. For one, you want your website to look professional. For two, you want to have options and functionality, the same reason I use Divi. Three, if you don’t know code or programming, you’re going to need an easy WordPress theme to use, another reason I chose Divi for our website. Lastly, you will need landing pages. Divi comes with the Divi Page Builder to help you make a professional page without having to know code. For all the reasons above, I highly recommend the lifelong package at Elegant Themes. Like you will hear me say again and again, I don’t recommend every product. I only recommend what I’ve used myself and products I know get the job done.

Amazon Affiliate Program(3) Popular Affiliate Programs To Make Money From

Now that you have a hosting account, a WordPress website and a theme to work with, you can now start thinking about marketing strategies. By this time, you should know what you want to sale or generally have an idea. If you don’t have your website or hosting account yet because you’re not sure what to sell, no problem. I’m going to go over some of the more popular affiliate marketing programs with you and you can always bookmark my guide to get back here to set up your hosting account and domain.

What are the most popular affiliate marketing programs? Hey! There’s no shortage of them let me tell you. Affiliate marketing opportunities everywhere. Let’s discuss some of the biggest names in affiliate marketing today.


Most of you have heard about Amazon at one point or another. Heck, perhaps you’ve bought something there. Amazon has one of the most popular affiliate programs and it literally gives you access to nearly every product and offer Amazon offers. There’s a good range of high and low priced products on Amazon to mix it up. Amazon’s affiliate program is free to sign up for. Commissions can range from 4 percent per sale and increase as you get more sales. Amazon’s program has mixed reviews, but if you’re thinking about an ecommerce website, then Amazon would be a good start for you.

Sign up for Amazon’s affiliate marketing program.

Ebay Partner Network

Another popular affiliate marketing program is Ebay. The Ebay Partner Network is a popular choice among affiliate marketers. Ebay is a well known platform and just like Amazon, you can earn commissions by selling products listed on Ebay. Ebay affiliates get paid once a month. It’s a trusted platform and you can nearly find anything that you want to sell. A lot of publishers really like Ebay, I favor the platform. It all depends on the type of products you choose to sell and list on your website.

Sign up to be a publisher on the Ebay Partner Network

Rakuten Linkshare

Considered by some to be the best affiliate marketing program, Rakuten Linkshare has a wide range of affiliates you can join. The Rakuten Affiliate Network has a variety of high quality companies constantly looking for affiliate marketers to sell their products. Revenue Performance ranks Rakuten as the number one affiliate program to join. In fact, they’ve held that position for a few years straight now. I recommend Rakuten Linkshare because they can be trusted, you do get paid and you have all kinds of advertisers to choose from. So most of you will be able to find a program that’s specific to your market and niche. There’s literally thousands of them to choose from, so you certainly want to join Rakuten.

Sign up for Rakuten Linkshare affiliate program.


This affiliate program is a new comer to the top tier affiliate links. ShareASale currently holds a number 3 rank among the best affiliate marketing programs in the world. The company has did a great job growing and adding new premium advertisers to their business. ShareASale isn’t watered down like some of the other top tier programs, so this could be a good early move for you. Domino and NFL Shop are two affiliate programs you can sign up for on ShareASale, as well as hundreds more. You’ll find that a lot of the bigger affiliate marketing programs are very similar. You may see advertisers on different platforms. Your biggest decision starting out is selecting the right programs, services, offers and products to promote.

Sign up for ShareASale affiliate program.

Rakuten Affiliate Marketing Program

(4) What Products, Offers And Services Should I Go For?

If you’re still unsure what affiliate products and offers to promote, then good. I’m glad you’re taking this serious. You know why? Because it does MATTER what you decide to sell. Without question and you want to make money. In all seriousness, do you want to make money online? If you do, awesome! I want to help you get there. Period. So this next section is going to better guide you into choosing the right affiliate marketing programs to work with.

Find a Profitable Market

If you’re not clear about what market you want to target, you need to do some self research to find out which markets are currently profitable. While you can find reliable data on market profitability, most of you will have to pay if you want solid data from a trusted source. Unless you know a few people or you get it right here. So yes, I have a trusted source so we can look at the most profitable markets going into 2016. Let’s have a look.

Most Profitable Markets 2016

Ok. As you can see in this chart by FactSet, we have 15 of the most profitable sectors in the world right in front of us. Perfect, we know FactSet is a trusted source for data and appreciate them allowing me to share it with you. When we look at the data, we see Health Technology is at the top of the list. This is also a good indicator for the health industry period. Here’s what you need to know about the health sector, there’s thousands of credible sources in the health space. This is a tough market to crack. It takes a professional look, expert content and a trust factor to see success in the health industry as it’s one of the most competitive niches online.

Another competitive niche and market sector is technology, which comes in at number 2 on the list. This time, we’re talking about technology services. Not technology products specifically, but most technology services include software and tools. This can refer to a wide range of things, so it should be explored more if you ask me. We don’t know if it’s marketing technology or some other form of technology related services, such as environmental elements. (Just an example) What we do know is that technology services are profitable, so keep that in mind as you look for technology related affiliates.

3rd on the list is the evergreen financial sector, yes. This is one of the top market sectors for online advertising (if you’re thinking about paid marketing to drive traffic). So, what finances should be considered? I would think a large percentage for stocks and trading. You do see a good variety of advertisers in this space, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find a few that can work with your ideas. But none the less, you now know the top 3 most profitable sectors and you know 12 more, 15 profitable sectors for 2016. If you find your niche falls into one, this may be the route you want to take to start your affiliate marketing career. But be careful because what I say next is VERY, VERY IMPORTANT.

Complete Guide To Growing An Online Business

Affiliate Program Denied My Website(5) An Affiliate Marketing Program Turned My Website Down

First, if this has happened to you, don’t worry. It happens all the time. You’re just now starting off in affiliate marketing. Or maybe you’ve been an affiliate marketer for years without any luck. Go back in this affiliate marketing guide and remember what I told you. Having a professional website is crucial. Advertisers are going to view your website. Not all of them, but you best believe the top tier advertisers are going to browse your website up and down. And if you’re website looks like s***, you best believe they will turn you down when you apply for a contract.

This is exactly why I choose Bluehost and WordPress ladies and gentlemen. Not by luck, not for commissions, because I want to make money online and in order to make real good money, you need a PROFESSIONAL website. It has to look the part. You can’t half-ass it, just being honest. If you’re not willing to put in a full effort, you might as well quit reading now. The truth hurts, but that’s my promise, this marketing guide will help you make money. But only if you follow my guidelines, it’s here for a reason. Everything I’m telling you is the truth and from my own experiences. I’ve had plenty of domains turned down, but then I got my thing together. I got serious and I started making money.

(6) Making Money Online With Affiliate MarketingMaking Money Online Affiliate Marketing

Now, by this time, you should have your domain, you should have it hosted and you should have already started the process of joining affiliate marketing programs. If you haven’t, you need to get that done. Ricky, can I start on a subdomain like Blogger, WordPress or Hubpages? Fair question. I did, I honestly did because I didn’t want to invest my money before I made money. So yeah, I spent countless hours powering subdomains up, putting up affiliate links and banners. I did this for months. I built good quality content around the products. Want to know how much money I made? Sure, I’ll tell you, less than $10. I wasted a lot of time and effort for nothing, I don’t want you to make the same mistake.

You need your own unique domain. Do you know the difference between a domain and a subdomain? A domain is like I have here at  My domain is unique and has its own platform. Our first blog is a subdomain, it’s connected with blogspot. Domains have higher value in SEO, which is going to be something you will learn. Subdomains are often free, I know it can be tempting to ignore what I’m saying, but trust me, you need a domain. If you want to be making money online with affiliate marketing, the type of money that will change your life, please get a domain.

If you have your domain, it’s time to start making some money. In order to make money with affiliate marketing, you need traffic. You need someone to buy what you’re selling. So I have an exact plan you can follow that will help you get your feet off the ground. I will cover this next.

Driving Traffic To Your Website(7) Driving Traffic To Your Affiliate Products

There’s a ton of great traffic resources out there, the key is knowing where to find them. In fact, here’s an article I wrote to help you discover online traffic resources.

Before you get started, here’s some food for thought. If you’re selling SEO software, would you look to health websites to sell it? Heck no! You wouldn’t. What would be the point? You have to think about this, welcome to the world of marketing. You should be looking for a specific buyer to purchase what you’re selling. If I’m selling SEO software, I should be looking for SEO platforms, marketing platforms, perhaps technology platforms to drive traffic to my offer.

A lot of affiliate marketers can be successful at driving traffic to their website, but if it’s not targeted traffic, it does you no good. When it comes to traffic, focus on quality over quantity. Emphasize putting out high quality content. If you put shit out, that’s what you’ll receive back.

Online Traffic Resources

  • Blogs
  • Web 2.0 properties (like Hubapges)
  • Forums
  • Directories
  • Social media
  • Email
  • Image
  • Video
  • Webinar
  • Training
  • Podcast
  • Slides
  • Infographic
  • Ebook
  • Case study
  • SEO
  • Content marketing
  • Reviews
  • Guest post
  • Bookmarks
Online Marketing Strategies
Vedprakash Srivastava gives us a detailed look at the different layers of online marketing. As described, this is a great digital marketing strategy to implement for your business.

(8) Marketing Strategies To Drive Traffic To Your Affiliate Products And Offers

As you can see above, there’s a ton of different ways to drive traffic to your business. It’s your job to see what works and what doesn’t. You need to focus your efforts on targeted traffic that would likely buy what you’re selling. And we can accomplish this in many ways. I teach you everything you need to know in the resource guides below.

Search Engine Optimization

Local SEO Guide

Complete Guide To WordPress SEO

Successful SEO Strategies Proven To Work

Search engine optimization (SEO) is very effective at driving high quality traffic to your business. However, SEO is a long-term strategy. It doesn’t mean that it should be ignored. SEO brings what is called organic traffic to your website and organic traffic is often the top converting traffic you can acquire. If you don’t know SEO, it’s a complex subject. The guides above will help you out. Even if you don’t have a WordPress website, the basic rule of thumb still applies.

SEO is always changing and every business wants to be on the top of Google. SEO is always changing. As a blogger and affiliate marketer, the best advice I can give you for SEO is to write high quality content. Isn’t that what everyone says? Yeah, because it works! Don’t duplicate products or offers either, that will get you in trouble. If you focus on your product or offer with quality content, you can’t go wrong. Remember, you do want to sell the product but you want to give value to the end user.

Email Marketing

You can’t go wrong with building an email list. Honestly, your email list should be a priority. You can use Mailchimp for free. Mailchimp has several cool free features, even more if you upgrade. If you buy lifelong access to Elegant Themes, you also get access to the Bloom plugin. This WordPress plugin helps you build subscribers. Your email list should be full of loyal supporters that value what you say and have to offer. It can take time to build a quality email list, but WordPress makes it much easier.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most used marketing strategies in the world. In many ways, SEO and content marketing work together as one. Remember, organic traffic converts. Often at a high conversion rate. You should be focus on writing high quality content and promoting it on social media, forums and relative platforms. I’m not telling you to go out and spam every platform you can, this would be a mistake. However, it can be pitched when you do outreach campaigns. Look for guest posting opportunities on relative platforms to promote your content. You can even consider review platforms.

Paid Marketing Or Advertising

If you can allow the budget, you should also begin experiencing with paid advertising. You can use Google Adwords for this, also Facebook advertising. I’m not big on Bing and Yahoo advertising, I think search traffic is far less valued than that of Google. But it never hurts to experiment. But you also don’t want to be throwing away money. I would suggest taking the time to learn the ropes of PPC and retarget marketing. Paid advertising can be very effective because it allows you to target specific keywords to bring traffic to your landing pages. It can be costly depending on your niche and market.

A/B testing for conversions
GetHub shows us that through A/B testing and Optimizely (An A/B testing application), they were able to increase sales by $3,500.

(9) Your Responsible For A/B Testing And Optimization

You can’t be a well-oiled machine overnight. Do you think I cared about testing when I first started? Nope. And it was a big mistake. I learned through trial and error. Often and I’ll be honest with you, I was stubborn. I did it my way and listened to nobody. I was a fool. Again, you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did. I won’t let you and hopefully you’re serious about affiliate marketing. I was and I wasn’t. I quickly learned that I had to be dedicated and I had to get with the program. If you’re not serious about this, it’s not for you then. If you want to make real life-changing money, you have to let me lead you.

Everything has a purpose. A/B testing provides feedback and data to help you optimize your business. A/B testing defined is simply testing one method against the other with the data/results that was collected. Meaning this: Let’s say I want to send my email list a new product that I’m offering. I customize two emails selling the same product, but the scripts are different. Why? Because I want to see which email performs better. This is A/B testing and it can refer to anything you test.

Trust me, data is important and the more you have about your business, the better you can optimize your business. There’s two important needs for you at this time to get data. Both are from Google, Google Analytic and Google Webmaster Tools, also known as Google Search Console. If you don’t have a Google email, go ahead and take this time to sign up. After you have signed up, then you can go to Google Analytic and Webmaster to add your website so you can start tracking data.

(10) Adding Google Analytic And Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console) To Your Website

This can be tricky process for someone that doesn’t understand how codes work. Now, if you’re using a WordPress website, you can use some lightweight plugins to add both. I believe Joomla has extensions for this, Drupal also. So does a lot of other platforms. Google also walks you through the process and there’s enough resources out there to learn how to do it.

Both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are essential for knowing how your website is performing. You’ll be able to track user behavior, conversions, sales funnels and traffic, as well as many other key metrics.

The last thing you want to do is guess, you’d be asking for trouble. Instead, you can use the analytics and make sound judgement based on your data.

Affiliate marketing is hard work

(11) For The Biggest Rewards, Be Prepared To Work Your Ass Off

One thing I will never do is sugar coat anything. I tell it like it is. Period. I love what I do. I didn’t get here overnight, believe me. I’ve been working for years and I’m still working. But one fact I will tell you, each year I make more and more money. I love my life, I love blogging, writing, trying new products and yeah, I enjoy working because I’m good at it. I tried the easy route before, bullshit programs that make others rich. I tried to get by on a few hours a week. I signed up for the millionaire club. How many of you have been considering those programs? Guilty as charged.

Here’s the deal, nearly all of them are a joke. The top level gets paid and you don’t make anything. And if you do, it’s very little. That’s most “get rich schemes” online. There’s no such thing as easy money, you have to earn it. The key is following someone that’s walked those shoes, listening to someone that can be honest but helpful. That could be me, perhaps someone else. Thousands of men and women have been successful in affiliate marketing.

As I sit here today, I will say this. If you’re willing to put the work in, willing to work hard on your website and willing to learn everything that you can, you will see success. And this is only the beginning. When you get your name out there and start making money, you can be in the position I’m in. You can help and pay it forward.

Follow this guide and abide by the rules. This affiliate marketing guide is your best friend, Revert back to it when needed. Go ahead and get subscribed to our email list so I can send you more resources and tips to help you along your journey. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and my other social platforms. Become part of the community here. Leave me a comment, I’m here to help you make money online. I love helping others, I’m at that stage in my career.

If this affiliate marketing guide helped you, please share it. That supports me and allows me to help you. Leave a comment below. And if you have additional questions or you’re looking for professional guidance, use our contact form or you can email me directly at



Richard Hale is the Founder of Hale Associations, a company that provides Web Development, SEO and Marketing services globally.