top of page

Affiliate Marketing Checklist: What Beginners Need to Get Started and Succeed

Affiliate Marketing Checklist: What Beginners Need to Get Started and Succeed

Welcome to the ultimate affiliate marketing checklist guide for aspiring affiliate marketers! If you're here, you're probably wondering, "How hard is it to learn?" or maybe even, "How long does it take to learn affiliate marketing?" These are common questions that many people have before diving into the fascinating world of affiliate marketing.

You've landed at the right place, whether starting from scratch or perhaps pondering how to start affiliate marketing without followers. This comprehensive affiliate marketing checklist will guide you through the essentials, helping you navigate from beginner to pro.

My goal for you is to simplify the process and provide actionable steps to get your affiliate marketing journey off the ground.

What We Will Cover:

  • What is affiliate marketing, and who can do it.

  • Steps to follow to get started as an affiliate marketer

  • How to find your niche

  • The top affiliate marketing programs that are also beginner-friendly

  • A checklist of what to look for in an affiliate program

  • The best ways to use affiliate marketing

Now, let's get into the nuts and bolts. What exactly is affiliate marketing, and what do you need to know to succeed.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Before we dive deeper into the affiliate marketing checklist, it's essential to clarify what affiliate marketing is.

In a nutshell, it's a method of earning a commission by promoting other people's or companies' products or services. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a profit for each sale through your marketing efforts.

ANYONE can do this. It can take time to build, but with consistency and time, affiliate marketing can be a lucrative passive income stream.

{This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.}

Affiliate Marketing Checklist: What Beginners Need to Succeed

Pin for later 📍

Affiliate Marketing Checklist - Pinterest Pin

Affiliate Marketing Checklist: Your Roadmap to Success

From choosing the right niche to leveraging free traffic for affiliate marketing, there are specific steps you need to follow. I'll walk you through each one. Let's go!

Choose the Right Niche

Selecting the right niche is a critical first step. Your chosen niche should be something you're passionate about and one there is a demand for.

The ideal niche is specific yet broad enough for diverse content types.

Narrow down your niche

Take some time to list your hobbies, skills, and areas of expertise. The more passionate and knowledgeable you are about a topic, the easier it will be to produce content and market it.

For example, if you're passionate about eco-friendly living, you could focus on sustainable home products, giving you plenty of room for various content, from product reviews to how-to guides.

Market Research

Employ tools like Google Trends or Keyword Planner to gauge public interest in your potential niches. Look for keywords that have consistent or growing interest.

Analyze the Competition

Having competition is good; it means there's money in the niche. However, too much competition could mean it's oversaturated. Do a quick competitive analysis to find your "sweet spot."

Look through Google searches, blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, etc., and see what others in your niche are doing. How is the competition setting up their posts? What value are they bringing their readers? What are the keywords they are using? Etc.

So, if you're grappling with questions like "How hard is affiliate marketing?" or "How to start affiliate marketing without followers," remember that choosing the right niche can make your journey significantly easier.

You might also wonder, "How long does it take to learn affiliate marketing?" Well, that's often dictated by how well you know and enjoy your chosen niche. Take the time to carefully review these steps; your future self will thank you for the diligent preparation.

Research Affiliate Programs

Once you've identified your niche, the next step is to look for affiliate programs that align with your focus area. Opt for programs that offer a decent commission, reliable tracking methods, and timely payments.

For instance, if you're new to the game, Amazon Associates could be an excellent starting point due to its wide range of products and straightforward tracking system.

I personally started with Amazon Associates. It's probably the most beginner-friendly, and everyone is on Amazon nowadays. After getting the hang of the Amazon affiliate program, I joined Share-A-Sale, CJ, and Awin. All great and reputable beginner programs.

I will provide a list and more details on affiliate programs below, so hang tight!

Build a Website or Blog

Having a platform to host your content is essential. Websites or blogs act as your online real estate, where people can find you and engage with your content. Platforms like WordPress and Squarespace are user-friendly and also pack a punch when it comes to SEO, which will be crucial for attracting free traffic for affiliate marketing to your site.

For example, if you're focusing on fitness, a well-designed blog with articles on workout routines or diet tips could be the foundation of your affiliate marketing efforts.

If you don't have a website, here are the things you will need to do:

  • Buy a domain name. You can do this through GoDaddy or whichever domain hosting site you prefer.

  • Select a web host. BlueHost is okay for beginners. You can also buy your domain and host directly from Wix or Squarespace, too!

  • Choose a website builder. I like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress. A heads up that there is a bit of a learning curve to WordPress.

  • Customize your website

  • Create your content

  • Publish your website

Create Quality Content

Your content is what will draw people in and keep them coming back. It's not just about promoting products; it's about offering value.

For instance, if you're in the skincare niche, instead of just listing products, you could create content that solves problems, like "How to Create a Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Skin."

This way, you can seamlessly incorporate your affiliate links without making your content feel like a sales pitch.

Utilize SEO Techniques

Using SEO effectively is crucial if you're aiming for free traffic for affiliate marketing. You can improve your site's Google ranking by employing SEO techniques, drawing a steady flow of organic traffic.

Use relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and even image alt tags in your content. SEO might initially seem challenging, especially if you're wondering how hard affiliate marketing is. Still, the effort will pay off when your pages rank and traffic starts flowing.

If you want a step-by-step guide to optimize your blog posts and get ranked in Google searches, this course is what took me from 0 to thousands of blog post views in only 60 days. It completely changed the game for me.

Okay, now that we've made it down most of the affiliate marketing checklist, you're probably wondering where to even find affiliate marketing programs. I've got you covered!

Leverage Social Media

Social media is a goldmine for affiliate marketers. Even if you're wondering how to start affiliate marketing without followers, platforms like Instagram and Twitter can help you build an audience from scratch.

Track Your Results

Analytics tools like Google Analytics are your best friends when it comes to measuring the success of your affiliate marketing efforts. They can help you fine-tune your strategies and ensure you're getting the most out of your campaigns.


Below are all reputable and great places to begin as an affiliate marketer. I recommend choosing 2 to 4 to start with and join more as you grow.

  • CJ

  • Skimlinks

  • Amazon Affiliates

  • Share-A-Sale

  • Impact

  • Ascend

  • Awin

  • Ultimate Bundles

  • LikeToKnowIt

  • Rakuten

  • JVZoo

Here's a quick overview of each:

  • CJ (Commission Junction): A seasoned network with a broad product range, ideal for beginners who can navigate a complex platform. Click here to join!

  • SkimLinks: Automates affiliate linking, best for those with ample content. A simple, hassle-free option for newcomers.

  • Amazon Affiliates: Known for its vast product catalog and ease of use, but offers lower commissions. Great for beginners.

  • Share-A-Sale: Offers a variety of merchants across niches. User-friendly and versatile, it is good for those who want options. Click here to join!

  • Impact: A high-tech platform for experienced marketers needing advanced tracking and reporting tools.

  • Ascend: Specializes in software and SaaS programs, perfect for tech-focused bloggers and marketers.

  • Awin: A global network with a user-friendly interface, ideal for those wanting to work with international brands. Click here to join!

  • Ultimate Bundles: Curates discounted digital product bundles, excellent for niche bloggers seeking to offer value. Click here to join!

  • LikeToKnowIt: Targeted fashion and lifestyle influencers with strong visual content. Best for those active on platforms like Instagram. There are requirements, so you will need a more established website OR social media following.

  • ClickBank: Focuses on high-commission digital products. Ideal for marketers in health, fitness, and online education niches.

  • Rakuten: A longstanding, diverse platform suitable for marketers looking for flexibility and a wide product range.

  • JVZoo: Centers on digital products in internet marketing and business, ideal for those in these specific niches.

If you're interested, I go into more depth in my Free Affiliate Marketing for Beginners Guide.

Each affiliate program has unique features, so the best one for you will depend on your specific needs, niche, and experience level.


Look for these things before joining an affiliate program:

  • Does the network focus on merchants in your niche?

  • Is there a screening process to weed out potential scammers?

  • Do they charge a starting fee and offer valuable guidance? How responsive is customer support?

  • What is the duration for which their cookies are valid?

  • What are the average commission rates, and what's the minimum payout amount?


Below is the top method for affiliate marketing that you should consider incorporating into your strategy and the outlets to do it.

Content Marketing

Arguably the most popular and effective method, content marketing allows you to provide valuable information to your audience with the ultimate goal of driving profitable actions. Unlike traditional ads that directly sell, content marketing focuses on building relationships and providing value to earn trust and loyalty.

In the context of affiliate marketing, content marketing plays a crucial role. By generating useful content—like product reviews, how-to guides, or educational videos—you can naturally incorporate affiliate links. This adds a revenue stream to your content while also enhancing its value to your audience.

In essence, affiliate marketing becomes a seamless part of your overall content marketing strategy, serving both your audience and your bottom line.

Here are some of the top outlets for content marketing:

Blog Posts: How-to guides, reviews, or listicles (e.g., "Top 10 Best Fitness Apps for 2023").

Check out my Profitable Affiliate Marketing Blog Posts Tips for a complete breakdown of how to write a seamless blog post with links.

Videos: Tutorials, product reviews, or vlogs published on platforms like YouTube.

Video content is engaging and allows you to demonstrate a product's features and benefits effectively. Creating a YouTube channel around your niche can offer another platform for affiliate marketing.

Example: Record a product video review, provide a detailed analysis, and place your affiliate link in the video description.

Infographics: A visually engaging infographic that explains "The Benefits of a Vegan Diet."

Podcasts: Interviewing experts in your industry or discussing topical issues relevant to your audience.

Social Media Marketing: Daily tips, tricks, or motivational quotes on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to reach a broad audience without having a large following initially. Social media provides a more direct way to engage with your audience and promote affiliate products.

Example: Use Instagram Stories to showcase a product you're promoting, offering a swipe-up link that includes your affiliate tag.

Email Newsletters: Weekly or monthly newsletters that provide value, such as industry insights, special offers, or curated content.

Email marketing offers the advantage of a more personal, targeted approach. By building an email list, you can send out regular newsletters, special offers, and product recommendations with affiliate links directly to a captive audience.

Example: Create a weekly newsletter featuring tips and tricks for your niche, including "Product of the Week" recommendations with your affiliate link.

eBooks: A comprehensive guide on "SEO for Beginners" that users can download in exchange for their email address.

Within the ebook, you can include affiliate links. Now you have an email address AND provided commissionable links.

Influencer Partnerships

If you have a sizable following, or even if you're starting out but have a unique angle, you can partner with brands directly to promote their products as an affiliate.

Example: A skincare brand may send you their products for free for an honest review and an affiliate code for your followers to use.

By subtly incorporating affiliate links into your content, you can guide your readers toward purchasing.

And there you have it—the complete Affiliate Marketing Checklist to take you from beginner to pro. If you've been pondering questions like "How hard is affiliate marketing?" or "How long does it take to learn affiliate marketing?", this guide is your roadmap.

Remember, the key to success lies in selecting the right niche, creating quality content, and leveraging effective SEO strategies to drive free traffic for affiliate marketing.

Starting your journey might seem overwhelming, especially if you're contemplating how to start affiliate marketing without followers, but rest assured, with the right tools and strategies, you'll be well on your way to success.

Did you find this helpful? I would love to hear from you in the comments section!

2 則留言


It would be cool if you shot some cool video for beginners, for example, a brief digression into marketing, tell what an advertising network is, a CPA network, what types of traffic there are, and so on. I think this is a cool idea for your site. You can use this app to create a video clip. I wish you good luck and all the best)


Awesome! Thanks for the feedback :)

bottom of page