How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners (The Complete Guide)

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners (The Complete Guide)

Do you want to start an online business but don’t have any capital to get started? Starting an Affiliate marketing business sound like the best option for you as you don’t have to stock a produce, or create your own products, or deliver a service.

As an Affiliate marketer, all you have to do is to give audiences a good reason to buy the product you are promoting, and in turn, you will be generating passive income.

That is, with your content, you need to help another business to generate sales by promoting a product or service, and in return, you will earn certain commission as reward.

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to be generating passive income online. Wondering whether you’re a good fit for it, and how much you can earn from it?

In this guide, we will explain what Affiliate Marketing is in depth and how to get started from scratch without any experience step by step.

Ready? Here’s what to expect in this guide:

Let’s dive right in!

What is Affiliating Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning commissions by referring people to buy products or services from another company or individual, and in return you earn a reward when they buy.

You’ve probably heard of stories of people who will tell you that they make money without selling a product or rendering any service, yeah, that’s what affiliate marketing is all about. It is sometimes referred to as ” Make money while you sleep Business”

But first, it is important for you to understand that affiliate marketing is NOT a “get rich quick” scheme or business. Like every other business, affiliate marketing requires strategic planning, commitment, consistence, and relationship-building with your audiences.

You as the affiliate marketer will not be involved in the purchasing process after giving out the necessary information that can convince potential customers to buy the product or services.

It is up to the potential customer to take the information you provided and purchase the product or service which will, in turn, generate money for you.

Example of How Affiliate Marketing Works

AP Affiliate 101 Driving A SaleFinal

For example, assuming you want to promote products available on Jumia website, you first need to register as a Jumia affiliate partner.

After signing up, you will search for a product on Jumia and generate the product affiliate link on your Jumia affiliate dashboard, then you will promote the product on your blog, forums, social media, etc with your affiliate link.

Once a customer clicks on your affiliate link and purchase the product, you will earn commission on the item.

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For the above phone, you will earn N909.80 as commission once a customer purchase it on Jumia, as the commission rate is 2% of product under phone category.

And if such customer purchases more products on Jumia, you will earn commission on the products too. Affiliate Marketing has its own advantage and disadvantage, just like any other kind of businesses.

Pros of Affiliate Marketing

  • Easy to make good money with multiple income streams
  • No need to create a product or service
  • No need to stock or ship product
  • Good for testing new ideas
  • Allow promotion of any product or service of your choice
  • Low startup or setup cost
  • Work anytime from anywhere with internet access
  • Wide variety of offers
  • Low competition
  • No need to handle customer service

Cons of Affiliate Marketing

  • It takes time to make good cash
  • Marketing experience needed or have to be learned
  • No control over product or service
  • High Marketing risk
  • Some programs are scam
  • Customer belongs to the product or service owner
  • Some affiliate networks might require you to have a blog or influenced social media page

How Start Affiliate Marketing as a Beginner (step by step)

To start an affiliate marketing business, few steps can’t overturn that must be taken to set the program up correctly, easily, and be successful.

Step 1: Check Out Other Affiliate Marketers

As a beginner, the first thing to do is to check out what other affiliate marketers that are are doing. Check out bloggers and individuals that are into affiliate marketing to get inspiration as well as proof that this is a proficient online business to start.

You can check out what products or services they are promoting, how they go about it, and their passive income. Doing this can also provide you with more insight and knowledge about affiliate marketing.

Likewise, you can as well tap into their ideas and use it start your own affiliate marketing business.

Examples Of Successful Affiliate Marketing Blogs

There are lot of successful affiliate marketing blogs and affiliate marketers around the globe, but we give you a few to check out.

Now that you have learnt a few things about affiliate marketing, the next step is to start yours.

Step 2: Picking a Niche in Affiliate Marketing

To get started with affiliate marketing, you first need to finding your affiliate marketing niche among all. Every person has different capability, interest, and skill set, so to start affiliate marketing business, you need to pick a niche you can handle.

Finding a niche is one of the most daunting steps in affiliate marketing business, and it’s a step that can’t be overlooked or rushed through. Finding the right niche is the first key to an affiliate marketer’s successes.

To pick a niche you can venture into, it always great to choose a topic that you have interest in, or experience and knowledge. Your ideal niche must be solving a particular problems or issues you see in the society.

For example, The Wirecutter.

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The Wirecutter is an affiliate marketing blog reviewing appliances, gear, and consumer goods. The blog is set up to provide trustable product review for anyone looking to buy quality product online.

But if you really don’t know wish niche is right for you, you can just look at what products and services are already out there that people are best selling in a specific niche, then consider how you can improve upon it by providing content that will give readers more reason to buy such product.

Most is best to always pick a niche that interest you, as it will help to keep you going doing the hard times.

Now that, you have know how to pick an affiliate marketing niche, it’s time to check out affiliate program and networks you can signup for and start promoting their products and services.

Step 3: Finding Affiliate Products to Promote

To started promoting a product or service, you first need to sign up as an affiliate marketer for the product or service, or by signing up with an affiliate network.

To find affiliate program or network in your niche that you can sign up for, you can just search by using ‘yourniche’ + ‘affiliate program‘ to research.

For example, Travel niche

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You can find affiliate programs in your niche offer by companies on their website or on affiliate networks website. Just scroll to the footer section of any company having affiliate program to see the affiliate sign up page.

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One of the most popular affiliate program you can join is the Amazon Associates program, and Jumia Affiliate program in Africa. And you can join several affiliate networks and programs in your niche.

What Should You Look For when Selecting Affiliate Program

  • If program fits within your niche
  • The company’s reputation and product quality
  • Affiliate program requirements
  • Desired by your target audience
  • Commission levels and earnings per click
  • How long the cookie window is open
  • Program competitors
  • Consider high price products with high commission
  • Best selling products and services
  • Availability of upsells
  • Products other affiliates or bloggers are promoting or recommending

Go through each program or network requirement and see if you can meet the requirements eg Affiliate might need website, blog, social followers, email list, specific number of monthly visitors, etc. Also check the commission rate to see if it worth your effort and time.

Most Common Affiliate Program and Affiliate Network

As we’ve mentioned earlier, you can go through what other affiliates are doing, again and again, check out what people are looking for and select the best one you think is great and easy for you to get started with i.e within your knowledge.

we’ll would recommend doing your research and seeing what works best for your target audience.

Step 4: How to Start Promoting Your Affiliate Products

Once you find the products or services you want to promote to earn commission from, you will need to do the following;

  1. Create any of blog, website, social follower or email list  around your niche for your affiliate marketing.
  2. Apply to become an affiliate for the company by signing up as an affiliate partner. If you get accepted, you will receive a unique code or link which is known as your affiliate link.
  3. Come up with your own affiliate marketing content template that you can be following each time. This will also enhance your audience user experience.
  4. Write contents to promote the affiliate products and services.
  5. Include your unique affiliate link in the product and service offer.

Now that you have understand how to successfully sign up for affiliate programs and network, you can now proceed to promoting the products to your potential audience.

Step 5: How to Promote Affiliate Products to Audiences

The final step is all about getting customers, making sales and earning that passive income. There are some best way to promote affiliate products and services and tries to attract and convince potential customers. 

If you can become the resource that recommends those products, you can generate a commission as a result. But it’s important to remember that affiliate marketing works best when you’re sincere and confident about the product you’re promoting.

Most affiliates marketers share common practices to promote affiliate products but some promote the products in another dimension they like.

The most popular ways affiliate marketers promote affiliate products and services.

1. Using Blog to Promote Affiliate Offers

Blog is the best way to market affiliate products and services effectively as people are always searching for information about products, services, or some kind of guide before they can purchase, and blog serve the purpose.

Having a blog to provide the necessary information to potential customers will be a good way to easily market the affiliate products or services to them without looking too pushy.

For example, blogs like 10beasts, PCMag, Glamour, Skyscanner, Dating Advice, etc make money through affiliate marketing.

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2. Create an Online Store to Promote Affiliate Products

To market affiliate products like shoes, toys, electronics, beauty products, etc, – you can set up an affiliate marketing online store that you can use to display your goods to potential customers.

And when potential customer clicks on your link to buy the products on your store, the customers will be redirected to make the payment on the affiliate website.

You can also create a curator website to promote your affiliate products. You could create a content curation website based on a particular affiliate program, eg Amazon products using an RSS feed from their affiliate program.

And each time a customer purchase a product, you make money. There are lot of curation sites use affiliate marketing to generate money.

For example,  This is Why I’m Broke, Gearpatrol, Odditymall, Blessthisstuff, etc.

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3. Using Social Media to Promote Affiliate Offers

Using social media for affiliate marketing is one of the simplest and quickest ways to begin making money online as an affiliate marketer. Through social media, affiliate marketers can directly get products in front of potential consumers.

Find great affiliates to promote 768x674 1
Image credit: OptinMonster

But before using social media platform to promote your affiliate product, you nee to consider,

  • Your target audience
  • Most engaged social platform your potential audiences are active on
  • Your targeted audience demographics
  • Your sales process

To promote affiliate products through social media, you can do any of the following;

  • Using Ads: Most affiliate marketers promoting affiliate network products and services listed on platform like ClickBank, JZoo, Warriorplus, etc, – make use of social media ads like Facebook ads to sell off affiliate product. And since platforms like JZoo and Warriorplus are an excellent way to make a millions of Naira from affiliate marketing, the money spent on ads really worth it.
  • Influencer Tactic: Social media influencers or expert in a niche on platform like YouTube. Twitter and Instagram can easily promote affiliate products in their niche to their audience, as they have built the trust, and their followers will trust the product they are promoting as the best for them.
  • Using Facebook Group: An organic way of promoting affiliate products is using Facebook group. To do this, you have to create your own Facebook group around your niche, and to be successful with is method, you need to be patient and making worthwhile contributions by participating in discussions, offering advice and sharing valuable content in the group to build trust before promoting affiliate products.
  • Using your profile: If you are an expert in a niche that give useful advise and tips to your fans, you can easily monetized your social media account by promoting affiliate products on your social media timeline. As long as people trust you, you can make money with your social media profile.

The key is tapping into the broadest possible target audience which is where social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram comes in.

3. Using Forum to Promote Affiliate Offers

Forum is also a kind of community that people utilize to ask questions or seek advise before carrying out an activity. And due to this, affiliate marketers has taken liking to promoting products on forums such as Quora and Nairaland.

On forum like Quora and Nairaland, you can promote your business or get traffic to your affiliate marketing blog for free. But is best to make use of Quora as the forum has more active member and more questions you can answer unlike Nairaland.

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A lot of affiliates marketers are using Quora to boost their affiliate marketing business, but it’s important that you learn how to do it the right way.

However on Quora, you need to do it the right way otherwise, you will get banned quickly and lose your account. That is, if you do spam your content with affiliate links, you will get shut down by the moderation very quickly.

Affiliate links are not allowed on Quora and any content that use affiliate links will be considered spam.

In order to avoid been banned and to promote your affiliate link better, there are a few rules that you need to follow. That is the key to success on Quora as an affiliate:

  • Your Quora answers has to be original and can not be copied from anywhere else on the web.
  • Whenever you see a question which is relevant to your affiliate webpage, go ahead and answer them, then link to your blog article, in which you can have affiliate links.
  • You should not focus on promoting your affiliate links, but instead creating a helpful answer that will actually help the user and in turn get the reader to check out your blog post.
  • You also have to stay consistent at it before seeing any results. You also need to build followers and trust.

The best way to make use of Quora traffic is to build a blog and create some useful content which links to your affiliate products. Linking to Funnels or affiliate landing pages will only get your answer remove or get your account ban.

For example, Nikola Roza answer a Quora question “What is the purpose of Unbounce”, but his major aim is to promote his Unbounce coupon code article.

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Image credit: Nikola Roza

See Nikola Roza guide on how to effectively promote affiliate products with Quora.

4. Using Email to Promote Affiliate Offers

Email marketing is still remains the one of the most reliable and profitable promotion tactic in affiliate marketing. With email marketing, lot of individuals and companies make lot of sales through it.

Is always best to learn how to launch an affiliate email marketing campaign successfully, in order not to waste your time and effort.

As an affiliate marketer, you first need to build up your email lists with your blog which you can use to promote products and services to potential customers through emails.

But if you don’t have a blog or email list, you can also cold email potential audiences who may likely buy the products and services you are promoting. Cold emailing might not be the best option as you will be a total stranger to your audience, but truthfully most times it works for affiliate marketers.

However, to successful run a converting email marketing campaign, your email content should be a mixture of educational and promotional content all wrapped up in the same email or in sequences.

For example, Optinmoster give an example on how you could structure your email sequence.

  • Customer signs up to your email list
  • Email 1: Welcome
  • Email 2: Recognize your audience’s existing problem
  • Email 3: Educate your audience about the theoretical solution
  • Email 4: Affiliate link email with a concrete solution
  • Email 5: Nurture the relationship with cool content
  • Email 6: Nurture the relationship with cool content
  • Email 7: Recognize your audience’s existing problem
  • Email 8: Affiliate link email with a concrete solution

But if you only want to sell off product or service, your affiliate marketing emails can be a mixture of educational and promotional content all wrapped up in the same email.

For example

Cyber Monday Clothing Sale Instagram Post

When you write an email promoting an affiliate link, you need to first spend time educating your audience about why you found it useful and how the product can help them. Otherwise, you’ll watch your collected email list dwindle with unsubscribes.

How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?

An affiliate get paid after linking the seller to the consumer. Depending on the program, the affiliate’s contribution to the seller’s sales will be measured differently. The consumer doesn’t always need to buy the product for the affiliate to get a kickback.

1. Pay per sale: Pay per sale affiliate program is a standard affiliate marketing structure. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies.

2. Pay per click: Pay per click affiliate program allow affiliate to redirect consumers from their marketing platform to the merchant’s website and the audience don’t have to buy the product. As an affiliate, you’ll be paid based on the number of times audiences click on the affiliate offer banner or link.

3. Pay per lead: Pay per lead affiliate programs compensates the affiliate based on the conversion of leads i.e the affiliate must persuade the consumer to visit the merchant’s website and complete the desired action; whether it’s filling out a contact form, signing up for a trial of a product, subscribing to a newsletter, or downloading software or files.


Affiliate marketing is no doubt is a very lucrative online business to start in Nigeria with the launch of new products daily. You also need to know that Affiliate programs pay out much higher commissions to compared to Google AdSense or other types of ads.

It’s just important to remember that not all affiliate programs are created equal, and some will be a lot more profitable than others.

And keep in mind that to achieve affiliate marketing success, you need to stop doing random acts of marketing and start following a reliable marketing strategy for rapid business growth.

We hope this guide helped you understand what Affiliate Marketing is all about and how to get started in Nigeria.

Additionally reading:

Now, Over To You

What did you think about the affiliate marketing guide we discussed above?
Or what other niche(s) do you think is great that we have not mentioned, let us know in the comment section below. We’ll love to see your feedback.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Mike

    It’s possible to start affiliate marketing without a website?

    1. Setuphub Editorial

      Hey Fengbuy, thanks for the feedback. We are guide our guide is good for you.

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