The Top Ways On How to Earn Money With Affiliate Marketing: A Step-By-Step Guide

This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links – at no extra cost for you. Please read my disclaimer here.

Affiliate marketing is a 12-billion global industry, according to insights & research firm IAB. 

There is definitely money to earn from affiliate marketing, it's just a matter of knowing how in the most effective way possible.

With revenues projected to grow by 10% annually until 2021, there's no question that affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money. 

Based on actual figures, I'm talking over $75,000 annual average income for 12% of affiliates and $20,000 per year for 35% of them. 

With the right strategies, you can earn just as much or even more by promoting different products.

If you look at the data, however, a good 53% of affiliate marketers are not earning well. So what happened to them?

In this article, you will know what these individuals are doing wrong and how you can take a different and more successful route to affiliate marketing. You don't need to follow 5 or 10 steps, either.

What keeps some affiliates from achieving success?

Every affiliate marketer dreams of writing their own success stories but not everyone gets their wish granted. 

For the 53% that are not earning as much as the other successful ones, their focus and strategy are off. Businesses that provide value and question answering content gain consumer's trust along their path to purchase.

Whether you're a beginner looking to make money with affiliate marketing or an existing affiliate who's struggling to succeed, you must follow a winning formula. 

When it comes to earning money with affiliate programs, you can't focus on just the numbers or the promotional aspect.

It's not enough to simply promote a product without considering how much money you'll make with the effort you exerted. 

affiliate marketing strategies_marketing channels_

For a good balance, there are two questions you must ask:

  • Which affiliate product can you promote most effectively? 
  • How much commission are you going to earn from every successful sale?

Then, think about the best way to earn your target income.

Say you want to earn $150 a day and you have several products to promote. 

  • For an item worth a dollar and 50, you must sell 100 of them to reach your daily goal. 
  • For a 15-dollar product, you must sell 10 of them in a day. 
  • For 150-dollar merchandise, you only need to sell 1 to hit your target.

Which option provides you with the easiest and the fastest way to earn?

Once you know, you can earn $150 a day without too much effort on your part. This is especially true if you market products with recurring commissions, some of which pay as much as $80 per sale. 

This, however, is just a quarter of what you need to do to make money with affiliate marketing.

As an added bonus, especially for beginners in this performance-based marketing, check out my post about the best affiliate programs with recurring commissions in 2020.

What you should be doing to earn money with affiliate marketing

Let's get down to what every aspiring and struggling affiliate wants to know - how to make money fast and in the best way possible.

Carefully choose affiliate products to promote

The first major consideration is the amount of commission you'll make for every successful sale.

If you read my other post above, you already have a good idea which products to market. If you want more options, simply run a search online using the keywords “affiliate products with high commissions” or “high-paying affiliate programs.”

Best Affiliate Programs With Recurring Commissions

It's not enough to just choose one with the highest payout, however. 

To ensure you make substantial money through affiliate marketing, you should also...

  • Know and understand your target audience so you promote products that they desire and want to buy. Doing so, also helps you pick a specific niche for your blog and stick with it. 
  • Promote products you currently use so it's easier to deliver targeted and valuable content.
  • Learn more about potential affiliate programs and truly understand their commission structure. Can you upsell or cross-sell?
  • Choose only quality products for guaranteed sales and lifetime commissions. 
  • Learn from competitors, but stick to what you're passionate about and what resonates with your audience.

Follow these steps and you'll achieve success with your affiliate marketing efforts.

Research keywords that guarantee results

No matter the strategy, earning money with affiliate marketing always involves finding keywords that are...

  • Relevant to the product you want to promote
  • Suitable for creating compelling content
  • Popularly searched by your target audience, with a search volume that hits the 100-mark at the very least.

How do you find these keywords? 

Use keyword research tools such as Ubersuggest. Since it's a completely free tool, I refer to Ubersuggest all the time in this article. 

ubersuggest_keyword research

This is the quickest way to find key terms or phrases that you can build your content and promotional materials on. 

Or you can use premium SEO tools SEMrush. Try its free trial first.

Let's say you want to earn the 20-30% commission per sale from ActiveCampaign. Finding relevant keywords can be done in two ways:

  • Based on the product name
  • Based on a problem

How to research keywords using the product name

Type on the search bar “Active Campaign” or “ActiveCampaign,” which is the affiliate program you want to earn from. Click search or press enter.

how to earn money with affiliate marketing_keyword research

Based on the overview of keyword ideas, many people are looking to use the products and services that ActiveCampaign offers. This translates to opportunities you can cash in on.

Active Campaign - the branded keyword has the highest search volume, which is equivalent to the number of people searching for the product online. 

To reach out to them, write content using the exact keyword. Some content ideas are:

  • What is ActiveCampaign? 
  • How can ActiveCampaign help build your mailing list?

ActiveCampaign pricing - based on the search volume, it's easy to see that many people are interested to know about how much the product will cost them if they purchase it. Time to build content based on the pricing plan, free trials, etc. 

ActiveCampaign vs Mailchimp - this keyphrase presents an amazing opportunity to generate traffic to your website. People want to know how one product compares with another and you can leverage this need to your advantage.

Combine that with a comprehensive review of ActiveCampaign and expect an increase in visits. Write a piece about Activecampaign review, whether as part of a comparison post or a separate content.

The great thing about reviews is that most people who read them are just one click away from purchasing a product or service. Research shows that 84% of online shoppers consider online reviews as trustworthy as personal recommendations, making it an important type of content for affiliate advertisers.

Once your content leads to a successful sale, you will be earning a commission for as long as a customer subscribes to the affiliate product.

You should also write about “ActiveCampaign login” since many online users are searching for the keyword as shown on the search results. Your piece can revolve around signing up for an account and how to keep login secure.

How to research keywords based on a problem/pain point

What problem or challenge does Active Campaign solve? One of them is automating email marketing.

With this in mind, run a search on Ubersuggest using the keyphrase "automate email marketing."

automate email marketing_keyword research

From the search results, you will find inspiration for content ideas that will help you generate sales and recurring commissions from the affiliate program. 

Because ActiveCampaign offers several services, you can run a keyword search on each one. 

“Email marketing campaigns”

email markering campaigns_keyword research

“Activecampaign marketing automation”

activecampaign marketing automation

Although the search volume is low for this keyphrase, there are still 40 opportunities for reaching out to these potential clients. Use it to grow your blog audience, which will lead to more sales.

Because the goal is to earn money with affiliate marketing, every opportunity counts.

Create content that promotes affiliate products and is visible to many

Now that you have a list of keywords to use, write relevant content around them. For maximum visibility and results, you need to know four things:

  1. What content pieces will work best for you? 
  2. Where best to upload content.
  3. How to naturally add affiliate links.
  4. How to get people to click on an affiliate link.

I'll answer these questions one by one.

Content types

When it comes to affiliate marketing, blog posts are the most popular piece of content, followed by vlogs or videos on YouTube, and pins on Pinterest. 

These types of content become easy to find through search engines, the first stop for people who are looking for something online.

Now, one of the most important blog content for affiliate marketers are product reviews. As already mentioned, more people trust online reviews and read them to cement their decision to patronize a particular product or service. 

How do you leverage affiliate reviews? 

I'll discuss this in-depth later. 

Pro tip: To make content creation easier, I use the best article rewriter and spinner. Check out these tools. Some of them are really good. I personally prefer ChimRewriter.

Content platform

Blogs, YouTube and Pinterest are 3 of the recommended platforms to upload content for affiliate marketing purposes. 

When posted on these platforms, content becomes easily searchable on search engines. Moreover, people browsing these sites are ready to take action.

  • They check out your review about ActiveCampaign because they're ready to buy if the product proves beneficial to them. 
  • They watch your vlog about email marketing automation because they want to do the same thing and generate leads and sales in the process. 
  • They browse through hundreds of pins that feature the product you recommend based on your personal experience because they want to make an informed buying decision.
youtube video marketing

If you were to post content on Facebook or Instagram, you're unlikely to see results. Most people browsing these sites usually do so for viewing pleasure and not to buy products. Some of them may be thinking of purchasing your recommendation but not today or tomorrow. 

By the way, I'm using TubeBuddy for Youtube. It's a great research and video SEO tool.

You can read my TubeBuddy review here. 

Natural linking

The goal is to promote affiliate products, but there's no need to push them on your reader's face. You still need to provide valuable content that compels visitors to click on an affiliate link. 

The quickest solution is to hyperlink an affiliate link to a relevant keyword or anchor text. Make sure it's underlined and/or colored, which is the most recognizable feature of links.

Content and link visibility

Your content must be seen and read by your target audience for a chance to increase referral rate and generate a sale. This involves more than just creating posts that influence buyer behavior.

You also need to use vital elements that make content shareable and the affiliate links clickable.

Add CTA Buttons

Advertising campaigns always include a call to action, and affiliate marketing content is no different.

You must tell your readers and visitors what to do next after reading your content. Encourage them to take action with compelling CTA (call-to-action) phrases. 

The best ones are:

  • Yes, I want it! 
  • Get X now!
  • Grab this amazing deal!
  • Activate your 15-day free trial now!
  • Activate your 30% discount today!
  • Get your discount before it’s too late!
  • Get Your Free X
  • Start the quiz

Now that you have a list of CTA phrases, it's time to turn them into clickable elements.


CTA buttons are more eye-catching than affiliate links embedded into your content. Create big and bold buttons so there's no doubt in your audience's mind of what action you want them to take. 

Take inspiration from the example below.

builderall 7days free trial_
Use pop-ups

This is the second-best method to direct your visitor's attention to the affiliate links you want them to click. You can also use it to obtain an email address, depending on your CTA phrase. 

Below is a good example:

exit intent poup example

Popups can be automated using tools such as OptinMonster

If you use videos or vlogs to provide content for affiliate marketing, YouTube lets you use end screens and cards that pop up a link. 

You can even time it right for maximum exposure. For instance, when an ad runs, you can set the pop up to appear in the middle of it to encourage people to take action, such as to grab a free trial. 

Now that you know which content to write, what CTAs to add, and how to add highly clickable affiliate links, it's time to put them into action. Make sure to modify and adjust where needed for optimum results. 

How to earn commissions from affiliate marketing on a daily basis

Who doesn't want a guaranteed income or commission of $80 or up to $250 per day with minimal work? Imagine how much you'll earn if that amount is multiplied by 2 or 5 subscribers.  

What little effort you exert, however, you must focus on strategies centered on results and returns.

Write a product review that converts

As promised, I'm going to talk about writing a review piece that will put affiliate products at the forefront of your readers' minds and will generate revenue for your blog or website. 

First thing...

Always, always disclose that you're writing a review for an affiliate product and that you gain personal compensation every time a reader buys through a CTA button or an in-text link recommendation.

Doing so will build trust and transparency with your readers, potential customers, and subscribers. Your honesty will leave a huge impact on people who think affiliate reviews are scams. 

Now, let's get to the writing process. 

If you search online for ActiveCampaign + review, you'll see the following results: 

activecampaign review

Don't be afraid to list down what's wrong with a particular product or service.

Sure, ActiveCampaign is quite impressive but it can't be perfect. It's important to throw in a few disadvantages so your piece won't appear biased. 

You don't want your readers to think you're writing for money rather than to provide guidance and to help solve your target market's pain points. 

So what does a compelling and effective affiliate review look like? 

Here's a great piece from AuthorityHacker

As you can see, this affiliate review starts with a heading that is straight to the point followed by a list of major features and product ratings.

The CTA button takes a bold and prominent place in the entire piece. You can place this after the list of pros and cons too. 

Then, there's a summary of pros and cons that are written in short, simple, and concise descriptions. 

A summary of the review precedes the in-depth discussion about the features of Ahrefs. Use this to hook your readers to finish reading the entire content. 

If you were a visitor, would you want to study this affiliate review?


When writing product reviews, empathize with your readers, which will make you likable.

  • Write in a friendly voice and conversational style. 
  • Talk about the problems you encountered that the affiliate product resolved. 
  • Include rhetorical questions to further emphasize pain points and gain empathy from your readers. This shared emotion will pull them in. 
  • Are you struggling to build your mailing list? 
  • Are your emails' open and response rates low and dropping further? 
  • Be a real person behind the name. People will likely empathize with you than with a brand, so directly address your readers and share your actual experience with a product with real photos.

Remember these and your affiliate review will effectively generate leads and revenue.

And before publishing, don't forget to proofread your posts with grammar checker tools like Grammarly. Alternatively, Prowritingaid is a similar great tool. I'm using both.

Optimize your blog for search

As I've shared in my post on blog monetization, search engine optimization plays a vital role in helping you generate organic or paid traffic - the fire starter you need to create a chain reaction.

If your blog finds its way into the top 10 search results on the first page, the higher the possibility of your page being visited and your affiliate review or content read. You're just a click away from earning a commission.

To make this happen, however, you must perform on-page SEO. This involves several steps, including but not limited to...

  • Writing long-form, high-quality content
  • Adding proper heading and title tags
  • Optimizing meta titles and descriptions
  • Targeting one primary keyword with a high search volume
  • Linking to other pages internally

You also need to build backlinks to further enhance your domain authority and credibility.


Check out my blog to get more information about on-page SEO

For now, I want to show you the anatomy of a well-optimized page.

You get the idea, right? The point is that all the elements of on-page SEO must be integrated into your blog post.

And behind the scenes are: 

  • Optimized title tag, with the keyword placed at the beginning. 
  • SEO-friendly URLs
  • Responsive design
  • Faster site speed

Throw in social sharing buttons into the mix and the average dwell time of your page, which is the metric Google uses to gauge a page's quality, is sure to increase.

Writing long content that is relevant and engaging will keep people reading. On-page and off-page SEO help readers find their way to your blog.

Create a sales funnel that brings value to your target audience

Writing affiliate reviews and blog content provides you with the platform to generate traffic and sales, but your work doesn't stop there. You also need to ensure whatever piece you send out there will continue to bring leads and potential revenue.

By building an efficient sales funnel, this is more than possible.

(Click the image to see it in full size)


In case you want to choose a great funnel builder, check out my guide - Best Sales Funnel Builders

There are several elements involved here:

  • The type of content you roll out. 
  • On-page SEO and content distribution strategies
  • Lead magnet creation and distribution
  • Email marketing tactics
  • Retargeting to convert web traffic that bounced the first time

Let's tackle each one. 

In terms of content...

The piece many people prefer to read and share is the one that is not pushing products in their faces. This means you need to remove any and all commercial offers from your front end. 

But without the sales pitch, how can you earn from affiliate marketing?

Through email opt-ins, which bring several benefits:

  • Numerous links and shares your content will generate.
  • Ability to target high traffic keywords and viral topics, resulting in more traffic.
  • Tons of leads generated with zero PPC.

Most importantly, it helps you build your mailing list effortlessly. Imagine what you can do with all those email addresses. 

Just remember, no commercial offers on the front end.

Now, to get your content read...

  • Implement SEO. As I've already mentioned, optimizing content for search will help your page rank high and reach more of your target audience. Remember, SEO is not only about Google but also platforms like Youtube, Pinterest, etc.
  • Use social media platforms to generate traffic for free. Building fan pages and groups doesn't cost much but is sure to boost traffic and engagement organically. This is especially true if your market primarily uses the platform for socializing online.

Pro tip: Use a tool to automate and schedule all your social media posts in advance. There are many options but SocialBee is a good one. I'm also using it.

Great! You have everyone's attention. People are reading your post. Now what? 

This is when you drop your lead magnet.

Provide a complimentary offer or content to your post

If you write a review about ActiveCampaign, for example, throw in additional information about how to implement its many features or how to use it for email automation.

People would want to know, and they'll be more than happy to trade their email addresses for that vital piece of information.

Take advantage of this!

  • Add opt-in pop-ups to your content to collect emails. 
  • Add a CTA for content upgrades at the end of your post. 
  • Add those who didn't take your offer the first time to your retargeting list and try again. Use Facebook to redirect them to your opt-in page.

After some time, you will receive hundreds of email addresses that you can use to send promos and other marketing offers.

As for those who opted-in the first time, show your gratitude and then sell affiliate products to them.

Can you see how slowly you build your way to selling while keeping people hooked?

Create a "thank you" page, followed by your offer. 

  • Reassure your audience that your offer is on its way but you need them to spend a few minutes more to read additional information. 
  • Explain properly why their download is incomplete and the value of pursuing the rest of what you're offering. 
  • Choose your words carefully. Don't say "Click here to buy," say "Click here to continue." By holding off on the sales strategy, you keep readers hooked which will eventually lead to more sales.
email marketing process

Now, what are you going to do with your long mailing list? 

Send emails that remind people what you're offering. Then, get them to part with their money. 

This is not a two-step process, however. One false move could mean money down the drain. 

To ensure you close a sale, send a series of emails, with each one having a different purpose but shares one goal.

Regarding email marketing tools, you might want to check the best autoresponders for affiliate marketing.

Your first email should...

Remind the recipient about your lead magnet, which is the best excuse for reaching out to them in the first place. 

  • Add a list of benefits and value that they'll gain from your offer. 
  • Add a testimonial to build credibility.
  • Add a loop that will prepare them for your next mail and will get them eager to open it.

Your follow-up emails...

This is where you bank on their emotions to help you convert them into paying subscribers. 

  • Make readers visualize how the affiliate product you're offering will solve all their problems. 
  • Make them see how their situation will improve once they overcome their challenges. 
  • Make sure to elicit only positive emotions.

If you pull this off, you won't have to work hard to convince them to click on the link or button that is associated with your offer.

You might also create a sense of scarcity. Tell them they won't be able to enjoy big discounts if they don't sign up today. 

A word of warning: Make sure the products you're selling work. Otherwise, you'll ruin all your chances to sell to the same people the next time. 

If your efforts haven't convinced those people yet, start retargeting them. Who knows? They might just need a bit more conviction. Or, they might have missed your emails.

For maximum results, use retargeting ads on Facebook (or Google ads) to advertise your offers.

To summarize, your sales funnel must have search-optimized content that is free of commercial offers but comes with opt-ins for email collection.

optin page example

From the emails gathered, use autoresponders that consist of numerous emails based on logic, features, emotions, and scarcity. The longer your email series is, the more engaged your audience will be and the more products you will be able to sell.

Finish it off with retargeting efforts.


How you earn money with affiliate marketing is centered on how you can efficiently promote products without alienating your target market and potential customers. 

By taking calculated steps, you're guaranteed to earn a commission on a daily basis. 

How about you give these strategies a try and tell me if you see results?

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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