How to start an affiliate marketing business from scratch

How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business In 2021 (Ultimate guide for beginners)

Want to learn how to start an affiliate marketing business in 2021? Or how to do affiliate marketing in 2021?

If yes, you are in the right place.

It’s everyone’s dream these days to wake up in the morning, turn on their computer or smartphone, and find messages like this:

Sales emails that shows affiliate marketing offer ways to make money online

Is that your dream too receiving an email like this: “Congratulations!! You made a new sale of $$$”.


This is what affiliate marketing can help you get: making money while you sleep.

So if you’re here to learn what is affiliate marketing and how to do affiliate marketing in 2021, this step by step guide will be useful to you.

Because in this post, I’m not only going to help you better understand what affiliate marketing is, but I will also show you how to start your affiliate marketing business on the right path.

Without further ado, let’s get to the point.

What is affiliate marketing?

With the current economic crisis due to the Cov-19 pandemic, many people lost their day job and are looking to start their own business. And affiliate marketing can be a solution for you if you are in this situation.

Even if you are not in this situation, it is better for you to start a side hustle online business – the only way to secure your finance and get out of your 9 to 5 grind if you tired or not satisfied with your day job.

Let me show you what is affiliate marketing and how to get started.

Affiliate marketing is a marketing process in which an affiliate, through his own marketing strategy helps a merchant to sell his products or services in exchange for a commission.

In other words, affiliate marketing is the process of selling companies like Amazon other people’s products or services for a commission.

In this marketing channel, there are usually 3 parties in the sales chain where each of them comes out a winner.

We have on the sales channel:

The seller or merchant: It’s the one who creates the product or service. In other words, the owner of the product/service.

The affiliate, also called publisher: He or she is the one responsible for promoting the product or service of the merchant.

He signs a partnership contract with the merchant and becomes like his spokesman to his prospects (targeted customers).

His role is to show the customer or consumer the usefulness and the advantage of the product or service of the merchant or seller to which it is affiliated.

The customer or consumer: This is the target of not only the seller but also of you and me as an affiliate.

He or she is the one who is looking for the product/service your are promoting to meet his needs. Thanks to the affiliate, he is able to find the product or service that he might not have found on his own.

And even more, he benefits from the information and education often a buying guide from the product/service he is looking for thanks to the affiliate.

Now, you know what is affiliate marketing, let’s move into the next step of my step-by-step guide on how to start an affiliate marketing business in 2021 to find out how does affiliate marketing work.

Also, read how to make money blogging in 2021 (an eyes-opened guide that will make your blogging journey successful)

How does affiliate marketing works?

Affiliate marketing consists of promoting other people’s products/services and receiving a share of the sale set by the merchant called commission.

The affiliate act as an intermediary between the merchant and the customer or consumer and his role, on the one hand, is to help the merchant to sell his products or services. His role on the other hand is to help the consumer to find the product/service he wants or looking to buy.

Here is how affiliate marketing works in a practical way:

1. The affiliate finds a product or service that he likes and is willing to promote it. He finds a way to attract potential customers (a blog for example where he publishes articles while placing its affiliation links in these articles).

2. Through targeted keywords, he attracts his targeted audience or customer on his promotional channel (a blog for example).

The customer once on the blog finds information about the product/service he is looking for. He or she reads the information about the merchant’s product or service.

Convinced that the product/service in question will solve its problem or meet its need, he or she clicks on your link affiliate or banner ad that brings it to the merchant’s/seller’s sales page.

3. The customer lands on the merchant’s sales page via your affiliate link, reads the information again, and is more convinced.

He decides to pay for the product/service. He clicks on the “buy now” button and pays. the product/service.

4. The merchant, through tracking tools and cookies, attributes this sale to your name. It will pay according to the commission rate.

5. The affiliate receives his percentage of the sales volume.

How to start an affiliate marketing business in 2021 on the right path?

Starting an affiliate marketing business is simple.

Because you don’t need to create your own product or service.

You also don’t need a huge budget to get started.

But simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy.

Yes, getting started is easy, but succeeding in your affiliate marketing business isn’t.

Online gurus sell to you the dream of passive income and the ability to make money online while you sleep in order to make more money.

This is the way they fill their pocket, and while they are striving, you the starter you are struggling with. And by the end, you do what? You give up.

In fact, as in any business you have to work hard and often burn your midnight candle, be persistent, and patient before you be able to reap the fruit of your hard work.

To get started here are the steps to follow to get your affiliate marketing off to a successful start:

1. Decide in which niche to get in

If you want to be a successful affiliate in the affiliate marketing industry, you’ll need to choose carefully the niche in which you want to position yourself.

If you don’t know what a niche is, let me explain it to you in a few words.

A niche is a market segment in which you can position yourself and take advantage of your efforts easily.

Contrary to a generalist niche where competition is high, here the level of competition is low and it’s easy for you to develop your business.

Related post: How to choose a profitable niche in 2021

2. Choose a good and winning product in your niche to promote

Once you have chosen your niche, the second step will be to find a good product or service that will add value to the lives of your audience.

I emphasize your choice of product because your reputation depends on it.

If you choose a product because it will give you a higher rate of commission while the product is poor quality and doesn’t bring absolutely anything of value to your audience, you are set to fail.

Want to make money on autopilot? So let’s get into the next section on how to start an affiliate marketing business in 2021.

3. Create your affiliate marketing website

If you want to be a successful affiliate marketer and make a passive income on autopilot, creating a website that will serve you as a sales funnel or promotional platform must be your priority.

There are people who use YouTube to do affiliate marketing.

Others use social media platforms and forums. It is good.

But doing affiliate marketing in this way is like renting properties. You can get banned at any time and all your business is dead.

Smart affiliates not only create a website + a YouTube channel but they combine them with email marketing.

You don’t have to do it all at once at first, but in my humble opinion, a blog is a necessary if you want to go far with your business and make passive income while you sleep.

Luckily it doesn’t require a lot of money to get started. Indeed with the company
like Bluehost, you can start your affiliate marketing business with under $100 for the whole year.

And if you link me, an all-in-one platform where you will have all the
necessary tools and training to develop your business will be a good choice.

Related post: How to create a website and make money on the side

You can also read: How to start a blog with Bluehost

4. Attract your audience via search engines

The importance of using a blog for your affiliate marketing business is that you can attract your target audience by doing thorough keyword research and come up with long-tail keywords that will lead you to reach them easily.

Thanks to these long-tail keywords you can write SEO-optimized posts and attract your targeted audience to your site via search engines.

All you have to do is master the techniques of SEO, optimize your website for SEO and your money-making website is ready to generate money on autopilot for you.

Plus you can make passive income because once your blog post is published and ranked, you don’t need to do something again ( unless updating it) to promote your products/services and make money.

That leads us to our next step to starting your affiliate marketing business.

You can also read: How to increase your website traffic to over 200% in a month

5. Promoting your product to your audience

You will not earn a commission if you do not sell, and you cannot sell if you do not promote your offer to those who might be interested.

There are several ways to promote your affiliate offer or product to your target audience such as social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), forums, traffic exchange sites, Youtube, and blogging.

But among this list, the best way to build a long term affiliate marketing business and make a passive income is blogging.

Also, read our guide: How to generate leads on Facebook for free in 2021.

Graphic explaining How to start an affiliate marketing business in 2020

My FAQ on how to start an affiliate marketing business

What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?

Affiliate marketing is the process of selling other people’s products for a commission. In the selling chain we have:
– the merchant who is the one that owns the product,
– the affiliate who acts as a middleman between the advertiser or merchant and the customer, and
– the customer who is the one who is looking for the merchant product to solve his problems or fill his needs.

Can I do affiliate marketing without a website?

Yes, you can. If you don’t want to do affiliate marketing using a blog or a website, you can do it using Youtube, social media platforms, forums, etc. This is a guide that will teach you how to do affiliate marketing without a website.

How to start affiliate marketing for free?

Affiliate marketing doesn’t require an investment to get started as it is with MLM. You can sign up with any company that offers affiliate marketing program for free and get started.
But keep in mind, who will need to invest your money if you want to make a sustainable income with your affiliate marketing business. And since it is a business, any business requires a start-up cost or an investment. This is not a job. Right?

How much money do I need to start an affiliate marketing business?

Unlike mortar and brick and mortar businesses where you need to invest thousands of dollars to get started, an online business (mainly affiliate marketing) doesn’t require a lot of money to get started. Because you don’t need to create your own product or service or to rank a local to stock product. With under $100 you can have your affiliate marketing rolling smoothly thanks to a platform like Bluehost or Wealthy Affiliate.


Affiliate marketing is the quickest and easiest way to get started and the best way to build a passive income online.

The best part it doesn’t require must money and everyone can get started whatever your location.

What you need is just a laptop and an internet connection and a small investment of your money and time to start and grow your side online business.

I hope you found my step by step guide on how to start an affiliate marketing business helpful.

From now, you have an idea of what affiliate marketing is, how does it work, and the best part you can get started today by following these easy steps.

I want to hear from you. Have you started your affiliate marketing business? Or are you just looking to get started?

If yes, how is your progress so far?

Have you created a website to promote your affiliate marketing business?

Do you my guide on how to do affiliate marketing helpful, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends by clicking on one of the sharing buttons below.


To your success!


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8 thoughts on “How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business In 2021 (Ultimate guide for beginners)”

    1. Hi, Brian
      Thank you for stopping by!

      Yes, you are right. Having the required skills before you start will fasten your path to success!

      But note that the learning never stops. So you cannot master every aspect of affiliate marketing before you.

      You can learn while you are building your business. This is what we all do.

      And the exciting part, you can earn while you are learning.


      All the best!

  1. Kudos to you.
    I have a Google Blog website, i have not purchased a domain name or do any web hosting. please i need full guide on how to launch the website and participate in affiliate marketing.

    1. Hi, Emaka
      Thank you for stopping by and for your comment.
      I helped dozen of online entrepreneurs create their own business so far.
      So if you want to create your own professional blog and then make money from it, you in the right place.
      You can contact me via my contact page here for guidance.

  2. Hi Sebastian,

    This is an informative article to let people know how to make money online in 2020 when we face a hard time during the lock-down situation by COVID-19. I think people could get your point of view quickly because you make it comprehensive and easy to understand. It’s also good to know that we could maximize the earning potential by leveraging website, YouTube Channel, and email marketing.

    Since you mentioned Bluehost here, I wonder whether it provides training courses too? I know it’s a website hosting service, not sure what other powerful features they have. It will be great if you can leak some tips to use Bluehost so that I would have a clear picture.

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi, Matt
      Thank you for stopping by.
      You are right. Bluehost is a web hosting service provider only. So the answer is no. They don’t offer training as Wealthy Affiliate do.
      For entrepreneurs who want an all in one platform like training, coaching, web hosting and other necessary tools to start and grow their business, or a way to save their expenses Wealthy Affiliate is the best choice for them.
      But Bluehost can be the best alternative to people who can’t join WA for restriction issues.
      And sure I will do.

  3. This was some good advice on how to start an affiliate marketing business! I appreciated how well you articulated the ins and outs of affiliate marketing. I learned a great deal from your post. Thanks so much!

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