How to become an affiliate marketer

What do the phrases “affiliate marketing” and “passive income” have in common? They have the pleasant ring of (almost) free money. Affiliate marketing is actually a method for creating passive income by advertising another company’s product on your website. Given its potential for generating revenue while expanding both parties’ networks, learning how to start affiliate marketing is a hot topic of inquiry. Research suggests that affiliate marketing is on the rise by 10% each year, with 81% of brands using the strategy to drive sales. Whether you’re researching ways to create passive income or expand your product’s reach, learning how to do affiliate marketing can be a game-changer that transforms your bottom line.

Want to become a skilled affiliate marketer?

Take your skills to the next level
Understanding affiliate marketing

How does affiliate marketing work? Understanding how to start affiliate marketing begins with a product link on your website. Affiliate marketing lets you earn a commission by promoting a complementary company’s product. When someone purchases the other company’s product through your site, you get a commission. The affiliate and the host company share numerous business activities, including production, advertising, marketing and sales, so both parties stand to save on costs. 

Given the rise of social media and its power to captivate consumers, affiliate marketing can be a lucrative revenue stream when used strategically. If you’re wondering how to become an affiliate marketer, consider your reach on the Internet. Are you a social media guru with tons of followers? Since affiliate marketing hinges on the ability to convert website views to purchases, successful affiliates typically already have an Internet following (think influencers, bloggers and email marketers). 

Examples of how to start affiliate marketing

You don’t need a business empire to use affiliate marketing effectively. All you need is a product that adds real value for your customer. There are success stories on how to start affiliate marketing right in your backyard.

Tony Robbins Affiliate Program

Tony Robbins employs an affiliate marketing program recognized industry-wide. His affiliate marketing arrangement features a 15% commission on products purchased within 45 days of the customer’s click. By utilizing affiliate marketing techniques, the Tony Robbins team is able to build its network of partnerships while expanding its customer outreach capacity

tony robbins

Amazon's Affiliate Marketing Program.

amazon affiliate marketing

E-commerce giant Amazon boasts an affiliate marketing program that allows affiliates to earn up to 10% in advertising. Affiliates may choose from over a million products, making Amazon’s program a prime example of how to start affiliate marketing from scratch in almost any industry.

How to become an affiliate marketer

At its essence, understanding how to become an affiliate marketer is about relationships. Since you’re using your own platform and customer relationships to promote a product you believe in, you already have the tools you need to get started.


1. Develop rapport.

Like all humans, consumers are driven more by emotion than reason. When consumers feel an emotional connection to a product, they’re far more likely to purchase it and keep purchasing it over the long haul. Developing rapport with your customer is a surefire way to ensure that the emotional connection is there to drive the sale home.

develop rapport

2. Make it personal.

making it personal

World-class marketing is always geared to the customer’s unique needs, wants and preferences. To convince someone to buy a product, you must make it personal so your customer isn’t distracted by a competitor’s product. Ramp up your advertising to reflect your market research.

3. Use multiple marketing strategies.

Affiliate marketing works best when you use multiple platforms to advertise your product. Rather than letting the product link sit unnoticed on your website, use your blog, social media and email campaigns to get the word out.

Marketing Strategies

4. Stay current with consumer trends.

Consumer Trends

Consumer trends are subject to the same influences as businesses. To stay abreast of what’s important to your customer, you must keep on top of what’s trending on a daily and weekly basis. By keeping tabs on what’s going on in your customers’ lives, you’re able to adapt on the fly and constantly innovate.

5. Choose products relevant to your own brand.

A word to the wise on how to start affiliate marketing: Adopt a less-is-more approach to selecting the products you want to advertise. As tempting as it is to cast a wide net in hopes of increasing your odds, the reality operates in reverse. As an affiliate, by hand-picking products carefully matched to your own brand, you remain relevant and attractive to the niche you’re targeting.

relevant products

6. Promote products from many different merchants.

products from many different merchants

Once you’ve determined what type of products are relevant to your brand, you can widen your scope by promoting those products from a variety of merchants. Always do due diligence to vet the products you’re marketing, and adjust your partnerships to align with product feedback.

Want to become skilled at affiliate marketing?

Take your affiliate marketing skills to the next level by reading Tony’s 7 Forces of Business Mastery.