Make Money With Affiliate Marketing: A Guide for Beginners

It is often recommended to make money on the Internet with affiliate marketing. What is it and how does it even work? Here is a guide.

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Affiliate Marketing

Especially beginners are often recommended to make money on the Internet with affiliate marketing. Not only can you build up a side income on the Internet as an affiliate, but it is even possible to develop the main income with it—but that takes time.

Learn everything you need to know in this guide if you want to earn more than just pocket money as an affiliate on the Internet. I'll show you all sides of this modern job—even the bad ones.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of sales method. Affiliate marketing includes an affiliate program, the operator of the affiliate program, a technical base, and affiliates who do the marketing part.

An affiliate sign up for an affiliate program, gets a so-called affiliate link to be able to track his advertising activities, and can send prospective customers to the provider via his affiliate link and earn commissions if he is successful.

Affiliate Link Principle

Let's go a little deeper so you can get a better understanding of how the whole system works and can ultimately be used to make money online.

What Are Affiliate Programs?

Affiliate programs form the basis of affiliate marketing. They enable cooperation between a provider and an affiliate. An affiliate program can be pictured as follows:

Affiliate Program Principle
  1. A provider starts its affiliate program and invites affiliates to participate and recommend its products in exchange for a commission.
  2. An affiliate registers to the affiliate program, gets a special advertising link, and can use it to send prospective customers to the provider.
  3. An advertising platform is a strategy or method to attract prospects and send them to the provider. An advertising platform can be your own website, a newsletter, or even paid advertising.

The most difficult part is related to the advertising platform. The most important job of an affiliate is marketing—this is exactly how they make their money. The advertising platform is a critical part of a good marketing strategy.

You can find the best and most lucrative affiliate program, but if you fail at marketing, you won't make money!

What Is an Affiliate?

An affiliate in our context is something like a distributor who works as a self-employed worker for a company.

Affiliate is often brought together with the two terms “affiliate marketing” and “partner programs”. These are all related terms and have their origins in marketing and referring products for commission through affiliate programs.

What Does an Affiliate Do to Make Money?

Surely you are now wondering what an affiliate does to make money. Well, the answer is quite simple:

An affiliate works as a kind of middleman or recommender of a vendor's products.

It is not a normal employment relationship, but rather a job on a self-employed basis. Both the affiliate and the operator of the affiliate program can terminate the business relationship at any time. There are also no obligations—at least for the affiliate.

You have to imagine an affiliate like a recommender. He finds good products, signs up for an affiliate program, and recommends these products to anyone who might be interested.

Professional affiliates sometimes build complex sales systems to achieve hundreds or thousands of commissions per month. As you can see, there is a lot of potential in this business model if you run it professionally.

I, for example, am also one of the affiliates who use sales systems that almost automatically generate income.

Why Earn Money as an Affiliate?

Working as an affiliate on the Internet looks like an interesting opportunity to earn money. You have certain advantages and also disadvantages when you work as an affiliate, which we will look at next.

Pros of Being an Affiliate

Making money as an affiliate has some advantages:

As you can see, you have quite a few advantages as an affiliate.

Cons of Being an Affiliate

On the other hand, as an affiliate you also have to live with some disadvantages:

Don't be fooled by the promises of many bloggers and experts. Affiliate marketing is not a sprint, it's a marathon, just like any other business! I've walked the entire path on my own and know how long and exhausting it can be.

Is It Even Possible to Make Money as an Affiliate?

So you're hooked on affiliate marketing and want to know if it works and how much money you can make with it. First of all, you need to know that most affiliates are not very successful.

95% of all affiliates earn less than $100 per month and can't live from their earnings!

So forget right away about the quick and easy money that YouTube bloggers or affiliate experts promise to sell you an online course. Affiliate marketing is a tough job that you have to learn the right way, just like any other profession!

What Can You Earn With Affiliate Marketing?

The income of an affiliate depends on the level of each affiliate.

I can show you hundreds of screenshots with earnings, but at the end of the day, they just show some numbers that can't be achieved by just anyone—certainlynot within a few days or weeks.

That money can be earned with affiliate marketing is shown by my earnings at, a platform for selling and recommending digital products:

Income at

My total income is 11,218 euros and it is increasing every day. I recommend digital products like online courses, software, and coaching with this platform. You can also get started quickly as an affiliate with Digistore24.

Keep in mind that I had to build my own marketing platforms to reach the income from above. You can't just create an account with an affiliate platform and achieve the same revenue in a short time.

It will take time.

How to Start With Affiliate Marketing?

To start making money with affiliate marketing, you need to work with affiliate programs. There are thousands of affiliate programs and there is more every day.

Since it is extremely time-consuming to work with such a large number of affiliate programs, just use affiliate networks. You create an account once in an affiliate network and after that, you can work with hundreds of affiliate programs with one account and earn money.

My current best affiliate networks are:

Register with one of the networks from above and you'll have a great selection of affiliate programs to work with. Note that you have to apply to each affiliate program individually to use them.

Online Marketing—How to Find Prospects and Customers on the Internet?

Online marketing is a job that every affiliate has to learn. It is about reaching prospective customers on the Internet and making them aware of a product. To achieve this, there are several ways and strategies that I will present to you in the following.

About 30% of all affiliates take a shortcut and place paid advertising somewhere. Click advertising in search engines is very popular and you only pay money when someone clicks on the ad.

Example Ads on Bing

I can recommend advertising with Bing Ads because it is comparatively inexpensive on many topics/interests and you can start with as little as $10 in advertising credit.

Note with paid advertising that you can't directly advertise the affiliate link!

You have to create a small website, for example, a free one at or, publish a professional offer text for your affiliate product there, and promote this site with the paid advertising.

Today most advertising platforms don't like affiliates, especially not beginners. Beginners simply make too many mistakes and it's just not worth it for the advertising platforms to work with such affiliates.

Website or Blog—The Safest Way

Usually, as an affiliate you want to have a sustainable and stable income, exactly for this purpose either a niche site, affiliate website, or blog is created.

I run all types of such websites and for me the niche sites that deal with a specific topic work best. A good example of a niche site of mine is

You have to first decide on a topic and publish as many articles on your website as possible, matching this topic. These articles will attract visitors via search engines and you can monetize these visitors very well with affiliate programs.

Free Strategies—Fast and Effective

The internet is a great marketing platform if you think about it. On most websites you can visit on the internet there is a way to advertise for free—but you have to be creative and of course, you have to spend time.

Of course, even the free strategies are not free, because your time always has value. However, you don't have to spend money to attract prospects and therefore earn money with affiliate marketing.

Which Products to Recommend as an Affiliate?

As an affiliate, you will always wonder what products you can recommend. Since there are millions of products that you could recommend almost immediately, the choice is huge.

But which products are most worthwhile? Here are some tips you should consider when choosing products:

Before you recommend a product, get to know it first. If it's a product you can touch, it's best to test it yourself, or at least read through other buyers' customer reviews on the product, Amazon is a good place to start for product research:

Product Reviews on Amazon

You need to know what a product's strengths are to successfully promote it in large numbers. Many affiliates simply know the products too poorly and therefore fail to sell them successfully.


Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn money with a modern internet job. Thousands of affiliates already work full-time on the Internet and have been able to replace a traditional job with affiliate marketing.

But the road to get there is a long one ...

It took me years to be able to live from my Internet income. Before that, I was an industrial worker and built up an online business on the Internet after work, largely based on affiliate marketing and digital products.

The same law of success applies to affiliate marketing as to any other professional career:

Either learn it right or don't start in the first place!

Successful affiliate marketing must be learned.

It's not enough to watch a few videos and read a handful of blog articles to get off to a successful start—you need to go through the full program.

About Vitali Lutz

Vitali works as a German self-employed internet marketer since 2007. Today, he generates a large part of his internet income with the help of affiliate marketing and websites—this is his topic on