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Our Blog March 14, 2024

How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Experience

Writen by octaadsmedia

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Affiliate marketing is a process where an individual earns a commission for promoting another person’s or company’s products or services. The affiliate simply searches for a product they enjoy, then promotes that product to others and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they refer.

This article is designed for those with no experience looking to start earning money through affiliate marketing. We’ll provide actionable steps to get your affiliate marketing efforts up and running from scratch. You’ll learn how to choose a niche, find affiliate programs, build a website, create content, promote your site, and track your links. With this guide, you’ll have the knowledge needed to start your affiliate marketing journey, even as a complete beginner.

The great thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t need any special qualifications or large amounts of capital to get started. By following the simple steps outlined here, you can begin driving traffic and earning commissions in a short period of time. Whether you want to generate a full-time income or supplement your earnings, affiliate marketing offers an accessible opportunity. Let’s dive in and cover the basics of launching a successful affiliate marketing effort.

Choose a Niche

Choosing the right niche is one of the most important steps when starting affiliate marketing. Your niche will determine the types of products you promote, the types of content you create, and the audience you attract. As a beginner, it’s smart to choose a niche in an area you are knowledgeable and passionate about.

Some popular niches for affiliate marketing beginners include:

  • Health and fitness – Promote supplements, workout programs, gear, etc. Huge audience interested in these products.
  • Beauty and skincare – Promote makeup, skincare, hair products, etc. Another niche with lots of buying intent.
  • Personal finance – Promote credit cards, loan services, budgeting apps, investing platforms. Evergreen niche.
  • Parenting and family – Promote baby products, educational toys, family activities. Engaged audience.
  • Home and kitchen – Promote appliances, cookware, smart home gadgets. Relevant to most people.
  • Travel and tourism – Promote travel deals, luggage, guides. Dream niche for many.

When researching potential niches, look for ones with high buyer intent and purchasing power. Check Google Trends and Amazon’s best sellers to identify trends. Join relevant forums and Facebook Groups to get an inside look. Ideally choose a niche you naturally follow and understand. This will make creating content much easier.

Choosing the right niche provides focus for your affiliate site and allows you to become a trusted source on those specific products. Take your time selecting a profitable niche that inspires you.

Find affiliate programs

Affiliate marketing works by partnering with companies and promoting their products and services. In exchange, you earn a commission when someone makes a purchase through your affiliate link.

The first step is to find relevant affiliate programs in your niche to partner with. The best way to do this is through affiliate networks which provide access to thousands of affiliate programs in one place.

Some top affiliate networks to check out include:

  • Amazon Associates – The largest affiliate program with millions of products to promote. Offers up to 10% commission on Amazon purchases.
  • ShareASale – A popular network with over 4000 merchants across many categories. Average commissions are 8-15%.
  • CJ Affiliate – A long running network with high paying commissions across many niches.
  • Rakuten – Focuses on big box retailers with solid earning potential. Features stores like Walmart, Best Buy, and Home Depot.
  • OctaadsMediaOctaadsmedia offers a wide range of affiliate programs and is known for its global reach, making it a favorite among marketers

You can browse each network by category to find relevant merchants and affiliate programs to join in your niche. Most networks allow you to filter by commission percentage, cookie duration, payment schedule, and other factors to find the best match.

It’s also possible to search for “[your niche] + affiliate programs” on Google to discover programs specific to your focus area. Check each company’s website for an Affiliate or Partners section to learn more about their program.

Signing up for 3-5 affiliate programs to start gives you multiple options to monetize your website through affiliate links even if you’re just starting out. Over time, you can continue adding relevant programs as your site grows.

Create a Website

To be successful with affiliate marketing, you need a website. This is where you will host your content and direct traffic to.

When choosing a domain name, make sure it relates to your niche and is easy to remember. Opt for a .com domain if available.

For hosting, start with a shared hosting plan. These are affordable and can easily handle the traffic you’ll get as a new affiliate site. Some popular hosting providers are Bluehost, HostGator, and SiteGround.

When setting up your site, use a CMS like WordPress to make managing content easy. Most hosts offer one-click WordPress installation. Choose a simple, free theme to start. You can upgrade the design later.

Focus on creating a few pages first like “About” and “Contact” before you publish content. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and loads fast.

Having a website establishes you as an authority in your niche. It allows you to consistently publish content and attract an audience over time. This is key for succeeding with affiliate marketing.

Create Content

Creating high-quality content is essential for affiliate marketing success, especially when you’re just starting out. Here are some tips to help beginners create useful content that attracts and converts readers:

Focus on In-Depth Reviews and ‘Best Of’ Lists

As a beginner, you likely don’t have enough knowledge or experience yet to write extensive how-to guides or expert advice articles. So start with something easier – reviews of products you’ve tried and recommendations for the best products or services in your niche.

Write detailed reviews focusing on your own experience using the product. Go in-depth on the features, pros and cons, and who you would or wouldn’t recommend the product for.

Compile the best affiliate products or services into ranked lists or side-by-side comparisons. Include pros, cons, key features, and your insights on each one. This is a simple yet engaging format.

Optimize Content for SEO

Make sure to include relevant keywords naturally throughout your content, especially in headers, titles, meta descriptions, image alt text, and the beginning and end of posts. This will help search engines find and rank your content.

Also include internal links to other relevant pages on your site. Link anchor text should include your main keywords.

Include Engaging Visuals

Images, infographics, video embeds, tables, etc. help break up walls of text and engage readers. When possible, create your own visuals or use affiliate program media resources. Make sure to optimize images with alt text.

Check for Spelling, Grammar, and Readability

Read through each draft carefully to catch typos, grammar issues, repetitive phrasing, and awkward sentences. Break up long paragraphs for easier reading.

Use free tools like Hemingway Editor to analyze readability. Aim for 7th-8th grade level or below. Too complex writing will turn readers off.

Write Genuine Reviews

Avoid exaggerating or giving undeserved praise just to push affiliate products. Be honest and disclose any free items or incentives you received to review. Credibility is key.

With these tips, beginner affiliate marketers can create valuable, engaging content from day one. The most important thing is to start creating and keep improving. Your skills will grow with experience.

Promote your site

When you’re first starting out in affiliate marketing with no experience, the most effective ways to promote your site will likely be through basic search engine optimization (SEO) and low-cost traffic generation tactics. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Optimize your pages and content for relevant keywords. Do keyword research to find terms people are searching for related to your niche, then incorporate those keywords naturally throughout your content.
  • Include meta descriptions optimized for clicks and conversions. Craft compelling meta descriptions of 155 characters or less that make searchers want to click through to your site.
  • Link out to authority sites. Linking to authoritative, reputable sites helps build your own domain authority and can lead to reciprocal links.
  • Produce regular, high-quality content. Search engines favor sites that publish new, useful content consistently. Aim for at least one new in-depth post per week.
  • Get social. Promote your content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Join relevant groups and participate in the conversation.
  • Build an email list. Collect email addresses so you can promote affiliate offers and new content directly to interested followers. Offer an opt-in incentive like a discount or free resource.
  • Guest post. Approach websites in your niche about contributing a guest article in exchange for a backlink and exposure to their audience.
  • Use digital PR. Build relationships with bloggers and reporters who may be interested in covering or linking to your site’s content if it’s newsworthy.
  • Run giveaways and contests. Giveaways can help grow your audience and email list by encouraging shares. Require an email address to enter the giveaway.

Focus on organic, sustainable growth through valuable content and community engagement when first starting out. As your audience and skills grow over time, you can explore additional paid promotion methods. The most important thing is to consistently publish high-quality content that serves your audience.

Sign up for programs

Once you’ve chosen some affiliate programs that are a good fit, it’s time to apply and get approved. The application process is usually pretty simple. You’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself and your website. Here are some tips for getting approved, especially when you’re just starting out:

  • Provide accurate information in your application. Don’t exaggerate your traffic levels or social media followers. It’s better to be honest upfront.
  • Have some content on your site already. Programs want to see that you’re committed to building your site, even if you don’t have much yet.
  • Select the appropriate category for your site. Make sure it aligns with the niche you’re focusing on.
  • List any relevant experience you have. Even if you’re new, highlight any background that shows your interest in the niche.
  • If there’s a space to include it, provide your marketing plan. Detail how you intend to promote their products through your site and social platforms.
  • Triple check for typos or errors. You want your application to look as professional as possible.
  • Be patient. The review process can take some time, especially when you’re unknown. Follow up if it’s been over 2 weeks.

The most important thing is conveying your genuine interest in their products and dedication to actively promoting their program. With some persistence and professionalism, you can get approved as a beginner affiliate marketer.

Add Affiliate Links Naturally

When you’re just starting out with affiliate marketing, it can be tempting to stuff your content full of affiliate links in the hopes of earning more commissions. However, this approach rarely works and can turn readers off. A better strategy is to incorporate affiliate links naturally into your content.

The key is to only include affiliate links where they make sense and add value for your reader. Don’t force affiliate links into places where they don’t belong just for the sake of adding more links. Your goal should be to write high-quality content first, and sprinkle in affiliate links secondarily.

Here are some tips for integrating affiliate links naturally:

  • Link to an affiliate product when you’re recommending it as a solution to a problem discussed in your content. For example, if you’re writing a post on baby monitors, you could recommend your favorite baby monitor and link to it.
  • When mentioning a brand or product, link to it using an affiliate link. For example, “We tried the Graco Pack ‘n Play On the Go Playard (affiliate link) and loved how easy it was to set up.”
  • Create a resources or tools section at the end of a post that lists any products or services mentioned, and include affiliated links. This should only include resources that are truly helpful for the reader.
  • Link to related affiliate products in a “You may also like…” section following a product recommendation.
  • Only link terms the first time they are used. Having the same affiliate link appear multiple times looks overly promotional.

The key is to incorporate links naturally without disrupting the flow for readers. Affiliate links should supplement your content rather than overwhelm it. With some practice, you can earn commissions while still providing excellent value for your audience.

Track Links

Link tracking is crucial for understanding the performance of your affiliate marketing efforts. Without tracking your links, you won’t know which traffic sources are generating conversions and sales. As a beginner, you’ll want to use a tracking system that’s easy to implement. Here are some good options:

  • AffiliateWP – This WordPress plugin offers robust affiliate link tracking. It can track clicks, conversions, impressions, and more. AffiliateWP integrates directly with your WordPress site.
  • Pretty Links – Another handy WordPress plugin. It lets you create cleaner, customizable affiliate links like You can see click stats right in your WordPress dashboard.
  • Google Analytics – The free version of GA lets you track goals and URL performance. Just add UTM parameters to your links so you can properly monitor traffic in GA.
  • LinkRedirection – This browser extension makes it easy to shorten links from any affiliate network and add tracking parameters.
  • ClickMeter – Offers detailed tracking of clicks, conversions, GEO data and more. They have a free plan to get started.

No matter what tracking system you choose, the key is consistency. Always use your tracking links instead of the default affiliate links. Over time the data will paint a clear picture of what’s working so you can optimize your affiliate marketing strategy.

Monitor and Grow

Once you have your affiliate marketing up and running, you’ll want to monitor your progress so you can continue growing your income over time. Here are some tips for beginner affiliate marketers:

Track Key Metrics

  • Monitor your website analytics to see how much traffic you’re getting and which content is performing best. Google Analytics is a free tool that provides great insights.
  • Pay attention to your conversion rate – what percentage of website visitors take a desired action like clicking on an affiliate link. See if you can improve your conversion rate over time.
  • Track how many sales you’re getting from your affiliate links using affiliate network reporting tools. Review monthly affiliate income reports.

Optimize Top Content

  • Look at your best-performing content in terms of traffic and conversions. Consider creating more content in that niche or topic for your site.
  • Refresh old content by updating it or expanding on it to attract more organic search traffic.
  • Repromote top content on social media and email newsletters regularly. It may continue generating leads and sales.

Diversify Promotion

  • Don’t rely on only one channel like Google search. Promote your site and content on social media, YouTube, forums, influencer marketing and other channels.
  • Consider buying inexpensive solo ads to diversify your traffic sources beyond organic search.
  • Guest post on niche blogs in your industry to attract new visitors.

Expand Your Reach

  • Join more affiliate programs with good commissions in your niche. Add more affiliate offers to your site.
  • Create content for additional buyer keywords that are relevant for your niche. Cast a wider net.
  • Consider expanding into new related niches once you have a solid foundation in your initial niche.

Stay Consistent

  • Stick with it! Affiliate marketing rewards persistence. Results can take months to build.
  • Keep publishing new content regularly. More content equals more potential traffic and conversions over time.
  • Keep improving your site and process. Affiliate marketing is an iterative process.

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