How To Start Affiliate Marketing in 2023 (Step-By-Step Guide)

by | May 25, 2022

Global affiliate marketing statistics show that the industry is currently estimated to be worth $12 billion. Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online, and it’s something that anyone can do.

In this blog post, we will teach you everything you need to know about how to start affiliate marketing, including how to make money doing so.

We’ll also provide you with some helpful tips and resources that will make the process easier for you. So what are you waiting for? Become an affiliate marketer today!

How to Start Affiliate Marketing

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

This is one of the most common questions we receive, and it’s actually quite simple:

Affiliate marketing is a way for you (the affiliate) to earn a commission for recommending products or services to your friends or readers.

To simplify it, here’s the 5 step process for how to start affiliate marketing:

  1. Find a product you want to promote
  2. Search the “product name” + “affiliate program.”
  3. Sign up for the affiliate program
  4. The company provides your affiliate link to track sales you make
  5. Drive traffic (and make sales) to the product to earn commissions

Pretty simple, right?

It can get much more advanced, but in this post, we’re just going to start with the fundamentals and get you to the point where you’re ready to make your first commission.

Disclosure: PPI is reader-supported and may receive commissions when you click through the affiliate links (that are great products we use and stand by). This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Why Affiliate Marketing?

Before we go into the fundamentals of the affiliate marketing business, let’s talk about some of the many benefits of affiliate marketing.

Successful affiliate marketers enjoy plenty of lifestyle bonuses – Ryan Robinson earns over $35,000 per month from his Santa Monica home – here are the most important.

Low Cost & Low Risk

First, becoming an affiliate marketer is low cost & low risk.

You can start your affiliate marketing business or any online marketing business for that matter with zero dollars and an internet connection.

Simply choose a niche you’re interested in and a product that’s in demand, then start to create content for social media around that product until your audience starts clicking through to purchase the product for themselves.

If it doesn’t work, move on to the next product. You’re still right where you were before, with no wasted inventory or sunk startup costs.

Unlimited Income Potential

I have really good news. Once you’ve made your first $1,000 with affiliate marketing, duplicating or increasing those efforts by 10X is fairly straightforward.

There is no cap placed on your income, and unlike working as a salesperson for a company that only allows you to sell one product or service, affiliate marketers can promote and sell as many products as they choose!

On top of that, we recommend choosing affiliate products and services that offer recurring commissions month after month, so as you refer more customers, you continue to build a recurring affiliate income that you can count on each month.

Location Independent

I’m not sure how to rank these benefits, but this might be our favorite reason to start affiliate marketing.

You can start and run your affiliate marketing business from anywhere in the world. Again, all you need is an internet connection and some quality content around your affiliate products.

Plus, since all you’re doing is promoting another company’s products and services, you have no obligation to stock any physical products, fulfill orders, take payments, or handle any customer service!

Your job is to drive traffic to the offer through your affiliate links, and the company does the rest while you sit back and collect your commissions!

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Ok so you like what the affiliate marketing business model has to offer, but how does it work?

Large companies have discovered that it is much easier to sell their products and services through a third party as opposed to simply saying ‘we are a company, buy our product.’

So rather than allocate their entire marketing budget to commercials and other marketing channels, they came up with affiliate marketing programs that allow successful bloggers and influencers to recommend their product, then pay them a certain percentage per sale.

These sales are tracked through affiliate links, which is a unique link provided to each affiliate that contains a cookie to track the customer as well as which affiliate referred that customer.

When the customer makes a purchase, the affiliate will get paid a commission for that sale.

How To Start Affiliate Marketing (5 Steps)

Here’s how you start affiliate marketing in 5 simple steps. 

  1. Choose A Product
  2. Create A Website/Sales Funnel
  3. Collect Emails & Automate Follow Up
  4. Drive Traffic to Your Offer
  5. Scale Up & Make More Commissions!

It’s important not to overcomplicate your affiliate marketing efforts, so let’s focus on getting started towards your first $1,000.

Choose A Product

Step #1 is to choose a product with a high-paying affiliate program.

There are a couple of ways to go about this. First, you can pick a product you love and want to promote. I love Yeti Products, so let’s use that as an example.

Simply type in Yeti + Affiliate Program into Google and follow the link to their affiliate program.

Next, you simply apply to become an affiliate directly through their website. They may ask you some questions about your target audience or marketing strategy, but once your application is approved you will be part of their affiliate program and can start recommending their products to your audience.

The other option for finding profitable products to promote is through affiliate networks.

The most popular affiliate network in the world is Amazon Associates, although we don’t recommend starting out as an Amazon affiliate unless you already have a huge audience.

Their commissions are extremely low and while Amazon’s conversion rates are high, it’s hard to make enough money out of the gate.

With that said, here is a list of our top recommended affiliate networks:

  • Clickbank
  • Digistore24
  • ShareASale
  • CJ Affiliate
  • Amazon Associates

They are all free to join and have tons of affiliate products to choose from and promote to your audience.


I want to take a quick moment to share my favorite affiliate product and one that I promote to all aspiring affiliate marketers because it is an all-in-one software designed specifically for affiliate marketing.

Builderall is a landing page software that has a whole collection of funnel templates for any niche, plus it has its own email software built in so you don’t have to pay for a separate email service.

We will talk about the importance of a funnel and email follow up going forward in this article, but Builderall offers a 100% commission rate upfront (usually $100) and then 30% recurring commissions each month thereafter ($30 per user), which is why I love it so much.

If you are interested in becoming an affiliate of Builderall, simply follow this link for an exclusive 14-day Free Trial (we recommend the funnel club going forward if you’re serious about affiliate marketing).

Once you’re signed up, you are automatically approved as an affiliate and can access your affiliate link through the affiliate dashboard.

This is a nice segway into the next step for creating your affiliate marketing business.

Create A Website/Sales Funnel

Now that you’ve found a product to promote, you need a website to send your traffic to.

We recommend Builderall because it’s cheaper than ClickFunnels for the same service, plus Builderall offers its own built-in email software for free!

So not only is everything you need in one place, you don’t have to pay for a separate email service like ConvertKit or AWeber.

Further, Builderall has a complete collection of website templates for any niche to include Health, Wealth, Travel, Relationships, and more!

The purpose of this website truly is to collect emails before you send the traffic to the website of your affiliate partner.

You’ll create a simple landing page, let’s say with 10 Yeti Products For Your Next Camping Trip. The website visitor will have to include their email to receive the list of 10 products which you can then send them in an email through the Builderall software.

Once they input their email (which is yours to market to in the future), they will be redirected to Yeti’s site where they can browse their products. If they make a purchase, you get paid.

This is the basic formula for any affiliate marketing business:

Traffic (YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Blog, etc.) > Website > Collect Email > Affiliate Site > Email Follow Up.

Collect Emails & Automate Follow Up

Any successful affiliate marketer will tell you the money is in the list!

In fact, you should expect to earn approximately $1 per month for every email subscriber you have on your list.

Let’s take the same example where you targeted a camping audience to promote Yeti Products. They signed up to your email list, now it’s your job to follow up with them at least once per week!

So the first email is the guide you promised: 10 Yeti Products For Your Next Camping Trip

Then a couple days later, maybe you email them about a new product release or your favorite Yeti Cooler.

For the next week, maybe we sign up for Eureka’s affiliate program and the email reads ‘Our 3 Favorite Eureka Tents.’

If we were about to grow our email list to 1,000 camping enthusiasts before sending out the tent email, and just 3% of our list decided to buy a tent for $500 from Eureka who gave us a 25% commission rate for each sale, that’s a total of $3,750 for simply sending 1 email!

And guess what, building an email list to 1,000 subscribers really isn’t hard at all!

So if you’re ready to sign up for your Builderall account, make sure you use the button below for an Exclusive Free Trial and let’s talk about how to drive traffic to your offer so we can start collecting emails and making sales!

Drive Traffic To Your Offer

Next, we need to send some qualified traffic to our offer.

Taking the same camping example, we want to make sure we build an audience of camping fanatics that are much more likely to align with what we are selling.

So where do we start?

The easiest place to start is Social Media.

Start a YouTube Channel, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok… if you’re good at any of these already, go ahead and try your hand at adding in some affiliate products that you think your audience would enjoy.

Otherwise, if you’re brand new we strongly recommend TikTok in 2023.

The opportunity is now on TikTok and we are seeing amateur creators completely blow up on the platform.

And the best part is, you don’t need to show your face in order to build a large audience.

In fact, we have an entire article on How To Make Money On TikTok, so make sure to check that out for more on how to get started on the platform.

But in short, what I recommend doing is searching YouTube for something like “Camping Hacks” then click “Filter” and select “Creative Commons” under the Features tab.

Anything under Creative Commons can be downloaded and repurposed for free, so download a couple of the most viewed videos and cut them into smaller clips to post over and over on TikTok until you see your audience grow.

You can also create videos such as “Top 10 Camping Destinations” with pictures of each and some music included.

Simply continue this until your follower count grows and you start seeing traffic to your website and email subscribers start to increase.

Soon enough, that email list will be at 1,000 subscribers at which point you can send out a few emails a month and expect to make $1,000 per month in passive income from affiliate sales.

If you want an understanding of how many followers you’ll need to get to 1,000 email subscribers, here are some industry benchmarks.

Generally, about 30% of people that visit your website will sign up for your email list assuming you offer them a lead magnet (value in exchange for their email) that they actually want.

So you will need 3,333 website visitors (1,000 / 0.30).

From there, you can expect about 15% of your followers to click the link in the bio of your TikTok account, so you need about 22,000 followers (3,333 / 0.15).

Again, we are seeing TikTok accounts blow up every day and we know this is achievable because I grew a TikTok account to 20,000 followers in under 2 weeks.

Simply commit yourself to creating engaging & popular content for 2 weeks and see where you are at the end of that period.

If you’re making progress, double down and keep going. If not, either start a new TikTok and make better content, or consider a new niche.

With all that said, there is no reason you shouldn’t give this a try if you are interested in becoming an affiliate marketer. Again, focus on driving traffic through quality content, build the email list, and then offer your audience products and services that they want and need.

Any business is going to take effort, so stop reading this article and go design a simple funnel with Builderall so you can start building an audience today!

Scale Up & Make More Commissions!

This is where the fun starts for any successful affiliate marketing business!

Now that you’ve found a profitable product, set up your website to build an email list, and are driving consistent traffic to the funnel, it’s time to scale your business to make more money with affiliate commissions.

So how do we do this? We need more traffic!


Develop a strategy to create content within your niche. This can be you creating the content, you can pay other people to create the content, or you can start to leverage influencers to tap into their audience.

Influencers promote products as a way to make a living. Take the camping example again. Find an Instagram or Youtuber that is traveling around in a van that has 500,000 followers and offer to pay them to shout out your list of Yeti products for camping.

Then have them put your link in their bio or in the description of their next video and watch the traffic flow in.

Paid Advertising

Another way to bring in a lot of traffic is with paid ads. This can be through Google, Facebook, Instagram or even TikTok.

The key here is to create an extremely clickable ad with a pattern interrupt that is targeted towards your specific audience.

This can be tricky, so go slow. Start with a small budget that you are comfortable losing, and test as quickly as you can.

While it can be easy to lose money when just starting out with paid ads, the upside is huge. If you’re able to get to the point where you’re putting in $1 and making $2 back, you will never have to worry about money again.

Summary: How To Start Affiliate Marketing

To reiterate, we find the affiliate marketing business model to be one of the most rewarding careers for those that find success. We hope this article as well as free access to Affiliate Marketer Pro has you well on your way to such success.

The simplicity of the business model truly makes it an opportunity for anyone willing to follow the simple steps we laid out and put in the effort to build a quality audience.

Again, here are the 5 steps to a successful affiliate marketing business:

  1. Choose A Product
  2. Create A Website/Sales Funnel
  3. Collect Emails & Automate Follow Up
  4. Drive Traffic to Your Offer
  5. Scale Up & Make More Commissions!

So get out there and take action 🚀

We wish you nothing but success!