Imagine making money anytime, from anywhere – even while you sleep. That’s the beauty of affiliate marketing. Brands get to reach the audiences of bloggers, podcasters, and social media influencers, while creators earn a commission on sales or referrals.

Starting as an affiliate marketer takes some effort. You need to build a platform and grow an online audience, but it’s worth it. According to Statista, the affiliate marketing industry was worth $8.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $21.1 billion by 2024.

This guide will show you how to become an affiliate marketer and start making money by promoting products you love.

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What is Affiliate Marketing?


Affiliate marketing is a commission-based advertising model where an affiliate promotes another person’s or company’s products and/or services and gets compensated for each sale.

Affiliates often known as affiliate marketers look for products that interests them and their audience and promote them through their affiliate link. 

Every time a sale is made through that affiliate link, a percentage of the sale amount is given to the affiliate as a commission.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

1. Passive Income

One of the major advantages of affiliate marketing is that it allows you to earn passive income. This means that you can generate money even if you are not actively working for it. Once you have set up your affiliate links and marketing campaigns, you can sit back and relax and let the money roll in without actively promoting the products.

2. Low Risk

Affiliate marketing is a low-risk business model that requires little to no investment. As an affiliate you don’t need to worry about upfront costs, inventory or shipping as it handled by the product creator. 

3. Flexibility

As an affiliate marketer you have the flexibility to work from anywhere at any time, as long as you have an internet connection. This is perfect for people who want to remotely or travel frequently. As affiliate marketing can be a done as a part time business, it a great option for those who have other commitments.

4. Minimal Product Creation

Product creation requires a lot of time and as an affiliate marketer, you need to worry about creating your own product or services. This can be major advantage as you save a lot of effort and money. And you can focus of marketing and sales of other products than developing one.

5. Scalability

Affiliate marketing is a highly scalable business and as your audience grows you can easily increase your earning by promoting more products and services or leveraging your existing audience to promote higher-ticket products.

How does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing involves 4 key players: the merchant, the affiliate, the network and the consumer.

affiliate marketing key players

1. Merchant

The merchant also known as the seller is the creator of the product. They are the one who runs an affiliate program and are responsible for paying affiliate commissions. Anybody who is willing and able to pay for sales through an affiliate program can be a seller. It could be individuals, big companies and even startups.

2. Affiliates

Affiliates are the ones responsible for promoting a merchant’s products or services. They are often known as publishers and can be either individuals or companies. Affiliates are usually content creators who specialize in the same industry as the product they’re promoting. Some of the common ways of promotion are social media posts, blogs and videos.

3. Affiliate Network

Affiliate networks are the intermediaries between the seller and the affiliate marketer. These networks look after third-party audits and regulate the transactions between the affiliates and sellers. Some of the top affiliate marketing networks you can join are EarnKaro, Cuelinks and ShareASale.

4. Consumer

The consumers are the individuals who purchase through the affiliate links. Without them, there won’t be any sales and no commission to hand out.

How do Affiliates Get Paid?

Affiliate can get paid through multiple payment methods. The commission are usually paid on a monthly basis, however, depending on the affiliate program terms, it can be done weekly or even daily as well. Before joining an affiliate program, always check the payment structure so that it aligns with your end objective. Below are the three common ways in which affiliates are paid.

1. Pay-per-sale or PPS

PPS is the most common payment method used in affiliate marketing. Affiliates are paid for every sale they bring in through their affiliate link.

2. Pay-per-click or PPC

Under the PPC payment method, the affiliates are paid for every click generated, regardless of whether a sale was completed or not. This payment is, however, extremely rare.

3. Pay-per-lead or PPL

For the PPL method, as the name suggests, affiliates are paid for every lead they bring in. It could be an app download, account opening or making a deposit.

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How to Start Affiliate Marketing?

Here are the steps to quickly start affiliate marketing

  • Decide a Niche
  • Choose Your Affiliate Platform
  • Build an Audience
  • Find an Appropriate Affiliate Program/Network
  • Create Valuable Content
  • Drive Clicks to Your Affiliate Links
  • Monitor and Analyze Your Affiliate Campaigns

1. Decide a Niche

The first step to start your affiliate journey is to decide on a niche. A niche in simple words is the area that you would like to focus on it could be anything from fashion to tech to gaming. The choices are really endless!

affiliate niche

But how do you choose your affiliate niche? Ask yourself the following questions.

  • How competitive is the niche? The more saturated the niche, the more difficult it will be to enter and drive traffic and conversions.
  • How familiar are you with the niche? Lookout for those niches that you are already familiar with like for example if you are into gaming then promote gaming products like keyboards, headphones, speakers, accessories, etc.
  • Is it solving the core problems of the customer? Whatever niche you choose, it should be solving the core problem of the customer otherwise you won’t be able to make any sales.
  • Are you willing to know more about a particular niche? Staying on top of trends is a must for an affiliate marketer. Choosing on a niche that you want to know more about is always wise.

2. Choose Your Affiliate Platform

The next step after choosing your niche, is the affiliate platform. Now you can have either one dedicated platform or you can have mix of platforms. The easiest and least expensive way to start affiliate marketing is with blogging. For affiliates who want to create product reviews and comparisons, blogging is a top choice. Here is an example of a review blog.

Apart from that you can start affiliate marketing on social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. However, all these platforms are saturated with content creators, and this makes it difficult to stand out. But with the right strategies and use of ads, affiliates can earn money through these platforms. Below is an example of an affiliate YouTube channel.

3. Build an Audience

Building an audience requires consistent hard work and the right tactics. Here are some digital marketing strategies that can help you to build and expand your audience.


SEO or search engine optimization is an effective way to rank higher on search engines results like google. By targeting the relevant keywords, creating valuable content and building authoritative links over time with the help of SEO you can get consistent and passive traffic.

Build an Email List

Email is still one of the best marketing channels and you can leverage that to promote your affiliate links to your audience. You can start to build your email list by offering things like a free ebook to you readers and encourage them to sign up. After that you can regularly engage with your audience by sending them updates, sharing new content and naturally promoting your affiliate links.

Paid Traffic

Paid traffic, as the name suggests, includes getting immediate traffic to your websites by using pay-per-click (PPC) ads. While it’s a good way to build an audience and get them to sign up, it does have its drawbacks. Running ads at the beginning of your affiliate career can eat into your profits and can only be beneficial once you have optimized your campaigns. Using paid traffic is highly suitable for affiliate programs where the commission is high so that the numbers can be justified.

4. Find an Appropriate Affiliate Program/Network

The next and most crucial step is to find the right affiliate marketing programs that align with your niche. You can start by searching for brands within your niche that offer affiliate programs. You can look for terms like Affiliate Partners or Become an Affiliate on these brand pages.

Other than that, you can sign up on affiliate networks like EarnKaro where in you can partner with more than 300 brands like Flipkart, Myntra, Ajio, etc.


There are 3 key types of affiliate programs that you will find

  • High-paying, low-volume
  • Low-paying, high-volume
  • High-paying, high-volume

5. Create Valuable Content

Creating high quality content that connects with your audience is a way to earning their trust. This will enhance your site’s performance in search results and will help you in getting more organic traffic and reaching new visitors.

Always aim to deliver original and informative content that addresses your audience’s problems and pain points, whether you are creating a blog post, YouTube videos or newsletter.

Conduct keyword research to find inspiration for your content and establish yourself as a reliable source of information and build credibility with your audience.

6. Drive Clicks to your Affiliate Links

Here are a few strategies that can help you boost the number of clicks on your affiliate links

  • Contextual Placement – Seamlessly blend your affiliate links and make them a part of your content naturally. The aim is to offer valuable information and recommendations that connect with the audience and makes them eager to click on those links for more.
  • Compelling CTA – Create a sense of urgency by using persuasive CTAs in your content that will help you get more clicks from your audience. Give them an idea of all the benefits and value they will gain by taking that particular action.
  • Visual Enhancements – Make use of high-quality images, graphics or even videos that are eye catching and attracts the audience. Visually appealing buttons or banners are more like to entice clicks as they point towards exciting affiliate offers.

7. Monitor and Analyze Your Affiliate Campaigns

Monitoring and analyzing your affiliate campaigns is important for establishing a successful revenue-generating strategy. Make sure to keep a check on the pages, links and other elements that attract the highest traffic and conversions. While affiliate programs offer a dedicated dashboard, you can use additional affiliate marketing tools to optimize you campaigns further.

How Much Can You Earn Through Affiliate Marketing?

Most affiliate programs offer a commission between 5% -15% on every successful sale. With low-price, high-volume products, you can earn a 5% commission, whereas with high-ticket affiliate programs, you can earn more than 20% commission.

How much can you earn with affiliate marketing really depends on various factors like the product you are promoting, the industry and the terms of the affiliate program. According to Glassdoor, affiliate marketer in India can earn ₹1,06,980 per month on average.


Naill Roche from Authority Hacker has his own take on affiliate earnings. According to him, affiliate earnings can be segmented into 4 categories.

  • Beginner – $0 to $1,000 per month
  • Intermediate – $1,000 to $10,000 monthly
  • Advanced – $10,000 to $100,000 per month
  • Super affiliate – over $100,000 monthly

He further explains that 80% of the affiliates fall under the beginner and advanced categories and earn anywhere from $0 to $80,000 annually. Followed by 15% affiliates, who are earning up to $1 million and only 1% affiliate marketers are able to earn six-to-seven figure monthly income.


Getting started is easier when you focus on something you’re passionate about. Build an audience around this passion, and keep at it once you have enough followers, businesses might approach you for partnerships. Affiliate marketing is a great way to create a new income stream with minimal upfront costs. It takes time and effort to find the right affiliate network and perfect your strategy, but the reward can be a steady stream of passive income for years.

Mansi Rana
Professional Experience. Mansi joined EarnKaro in 2022 as a Content Analyst. With over three years of experience, she is a seasoned content writer specializing in niches such as affiliate marketing. Educational Background. A Journalism and Mass Communication graduate from Amity University, Mansi channels her passion towards empowering aspiring micro-influencers through the power of affiliate marketing. More About Her. She indulges in her passion for beauty and fashion in her spare time, immersing herself in extensive research and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations.


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