What Does A Beginner Need To Know To Start And Become A Full Time Affiliate Marketer?

Before we get started let’s get on the same page and a bit of a reality check of what it takes to be an affiliate marketer…

It’s a journey and for most of you reading this will fail before you even get started.

Why you ask?

Good question and this is the question that I have set out to answer in the post.

So, what does a beginner need to know to start and become a full time affiliate marketer? First is the right mindset that affiliate marketing is work, hard work when you first start. You will have to learn the psychology of why and what makes people buy stuff, after that you need to have a strategy to get the right message in front of those people that want to buy.

Affiliate marketing is not new, but it is shiny and remains that way … especially in the age of “make money online” or the “4 Hour Workweek” and “Smart Passive Income”…

In this post you are going to get the information you need to understand affiliate marketing and how to succeed at it, we are going to talk about the types of people involved in affiliate marketing. Then cover a few of the key steps to optimize your affiliate marketing after you get up and running. 

Also at the end of this post we are going to lead you towards thinking about creating your own products and how this could make you a better affiliate…

So let’s dive into all the good stuff that you need to know and how to get started and take this marketing thing full time.

Things To Understand About Affiliate Marketing To Succeed At It

On the surface, affiliate marketing looks like a very simple concept. 

You find a product for sale and you recommend it to others who might buy it. In return, you get a percentage of the sale as a commission because you’re associated with it. 

It’s so simple.

Just like how it is with insurance agents, door to door salesmen and real estate brokers.

Affiliate marketing is all about sales and commissions.

But here’s something you should know – simple and easy are two different things.

Let’s start with what we will call the three T’s of affiliate marketing…


When you’re selling online, in most cases, you’re not face to face with the prospect. The human element has been removed from the equation. Visitors to your site can leave with a click of the mouse.

Someone who doesn’t like your email can delete it and unsubscribe in seconds. Selling online while highly profitable, is a slightly different ballgame. 

For starters, people come online looking for information or to be entertained. In other words, they’re looking for ‘infotainment’… and even if you’re in a niche like gardening, golf or woodworking, the same rule applies.

Your content not only needs to help the reader, but it must hold their attention… and guess what? Social media sites, instant notifications and a short attention span are all waiting to rob you of that sale.

Door to door salesmen never had it this tough. There is much more rejection online. The only difference is that it’s not so obvious.

So, always make your content relevant, entertaining and useful. The goal is to get the reader to trust you. Use whatever it takes from infographics to videos to pictures of the product, etc. to remove all mental obstacles from the buyers’ minds and show how useful the product can be for solving their problems… and be subtle about it.


The next thing you should know is that unlike real-life sales where the prospect comes to your store or you can go knocking on doors prospecting, when it comes to online marketing, things are a little different.

Building a website alone doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll get floods of traffic. You may not get any for years. To sell online, you need to go and GET traffic. It’s all about ‘getting’ and not sitting around waiting.

You’ll need to drive traffic on your own by using free or paid methods. So, you must learn a few traffic generation techniques and take action.


When running an online business, you must track your results. Does your site have visitors? Do your products convert? Where is most of your traffic coming from? 

Are your emails being opened? Which pages on your site see the most traffic? Which ads are performing well and which need to be shut down?

As you can, there are many variables involved and by tracking your results, you’ll know where to multiply your efforts and scale up… and where your efforts are yielding no fruit.

You’ll also know where you’re not performing as well as you should and be able to remedy the problem. You’ll never know this if you don’t track.

So, remember the 3 T’s of affiliate marketing. Trust, traffic and tracking. If you follow these T’s to a T, you’ll succeed at affiliate marketing in record time.

Who are the 3 Types of People Involved in Affiliate Marketing?

In your affiliate marketing journey, it’s very important to know that you’ll encounter 3 different groups of people. Knowing who they are is very important because you need to know how to deal with them.

Each group is different and poses its own type of challenges. By understanding how the different people in the groups behave, you’ll be better prepared to handle them and be in their good books.

Let’s look at the groups now.

The Publishers

The ‘publishers’ refer to affiliates just like you. These are the people who create niche sites or run YouTube channels or Facebook groups. Even the affiliates who use paid ads can be considered as publishers.

The goal of most publishers is to put out relevant content or ads that attract people who will click on their links and buy their affiliate products. The publishers are your ‘competition’ and you must watch them closely.

If you have a niche site on fishing tips, where you promote fishing-related products, the other sites that show up on the first page of the search results are your competition. They could be affiliates or actual brand name companies selling their products.

You’ll notice that there can be an overlap here because affiliates can sell their own products too. Let’s look at the next group to get a better picture. 

The Advertisers

The ‘advertisers’ refer to the companies who create the products you promote. They recruit affiliates to do the selling and they also advertise on their own to boost their sales.

An affiliate who promotes other vendors’ products but also creates his/her own products to sell, now finds himself/herself in the advertisers group. Similarly, the company that’s selling fishing rods and publishes lots of fishing tips and content on it’s official blog is now a publisher too.

So, the groups can overlap. What’s important to know is that while fellow publishers can be your competition, you can also network with them to promote their products if they’re vendors too. So, now your competition has become a mutually beneficial relationship.

At the same time, the vendor whose products you were promoting, might end up ranking for a lot of keywords that you’re targeting, because their marketing is on point. So, the vendor you were trying to support, has now become your competition.

Alas, the tangled webs we weave! Generally, companies try not to compete with their affiliates. But if you notice that the one you’re supporting is posing competition for you, you’ll need to reassess your marketing strategy and see if you wish to still support them.

The Consumers

This group is without a doubt the most important of the three. The consumers are the people who come online looking for information and solutions to their problems. Most of them don’t come looking to spend money or buy stuff.

They want help. Your job as an affiliate marketer is to give them enough information to help them a little and whet their appetite for more information that will help them solve their problems faster and easier.

If you have a website on back pain, the content in your site can talk about the different causes of back pain and natural remedies that could help. However, if they wish to bring much needed relief, you can mention that the special ‘Pain Away Pulse Massager’ has been shown to help many back-pain sufferers.

Now, not only is the visitor better informed about his condition and has a choice of home remedies that he or she can try, but they have been subtly introduced to a product that brings much needed immediate relief. 

What do you think they’ll do?

Soak in that Epsom salt home bath which is a home remedy… or get the pulse massager to ease their pain quickly?

Most of them will get the pulse massager. The content you provide is a vehicle that not only helps them become better informed, but also transports them through the invisible journey that they need to traverse to go from reader to buyer.

Understand the different people who are involved in this affiliate marketing circle and you will be much wiser in your marketing efforts. 

7 Steps to Optimize Your Affiliate Marketing

To succeed in affiliate marketing, you’ll need all the gears in your affiliate marketing ‘machine’ to be perfectly aligned so that the machine runs smoothly and generates sales like clockwork.

In order to reach this stage, there are a few factors that you must be aware of and make sure that they’re all optimized so that your marketing efforts yield the best results. Getting them wrong can end in frustration and a loss of time, energy and money.

Let’s look at the 7 steps below.

1. Formulate a plan

If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. Before even getting started on the content creation or buying a domain, you’ll need to assess if your niche is worth targeting. Is it overly competitive? Are there enough products to promote? Will you be targeting long tail keywords?

You need to know your plan of attack and exactly what you’re going to do. That is your first step.

2. Research and reach

The second step is research and reach. You must do a lot of research before diving into the niche. It’s fine to even spend a week or two doing thorough research. You’ll get a feel for the niche and know just how far your reach will be. Better to be well-prepared than to get started and be unprepared.

If the niche you are in has a very small audience, your earning capacity will be limited. While you can still give it a try, it’s inevitable that you reach an income ceiling that you can’t seem to break through. So, be aware of this.

3. Traffic

Traffic is of paramount importance. The more targeted traffic you have, the more sales you’ll make. So, you need to know where you’ll be driving traffic from and what you’re going to do. Focus a huge chunk of your efforts on getting the right traffic to your web properties.

4. Content creation and marketing

No matter what affiliate product you’re promoting, there will be some type of content creation involved. You could be writing blog posts or creating infographics or just pinning images on Pinterest – whatever the case, it is content creation and marketing.

People come online looking for information. They’re looking for content. The better and more engaging it is, the more visitors you’ll attract and retain. Your goal should always be to help the visitor out. Avoid appearing like a rapacious marketer who only hard sells and hypes products up. It’ll just turn off most people and cost you sales.

5. Promoting

When you’re online, you must promote your content. Actively post your images in image sharing sites, share your videos in as many places as you can, get in front of as many crowds as you can, etc. 

There are people on Pinterest who love gardening. There are also people in Facebook groups who love gardening. Let’s not forget all those people who subscribe to gardening channels on YouTube… because they love gardening.

Guess what? Most of them are not on all 3 sites. The audiences will be different. So, by promoting your content on different platforms, you’ll reach more people.

6. Analyzing

Analyze your traffic stats, clicks, sales, conversions, etc. Even if numbers scare you, after a while you’ll get a hang of things. Once you understand the numbers, you’ll know how to scale your efforts and improve upon the winning strategies while ditching the poorer performing ones.

7. Rinsing and repeating

Last but not least, find out what’s working and keep repeating your efforts. Rinse, lather and repeat. Consistency is everything and your repeated efforts multiplied over time will result in avalanches of sales. 

Follow the 7 steps above and you’ll be an affiliate marketer par excellence.

Will Creating Your Own Products Make You a Better Affiliate?

This is one of those ‘insider secrets’ that many of the top affiliates do not reveal. The fastest way to become a better affiliate will be to start creating your own products. It may seem like a Catch-22 situation.

You got into affiliate marketing to avoid product creation… and yet, to really do well as an affiliate, you should create your own products. That said, there are thousands of affiliates who make 5 to 6 figures a month solely from affiliate promotions alone. They may not have their own products. Generally, such powerful affiliates are rare.

By creating your own products, not only will you make money from sales, but you’ll also build a list of buyers. This is imperative to succeeding in this business. It’s very easy to build a list of freebie seekers and tire kickers who will just clog up your list and increase your autoresponder fees – but it’s the buyers that you need to focus on.

The best way to have a buyer list is to sell your own products. This will also give you some credibility and authority in your niche. It doesn’t matter if you’re promoting digital or tangible products. You can always create a digital product such as a report, planner or even training course to complement what you’re promoting.

If you’re promoting bodybuilding supplements, creating a bodybuilding guide and selling it could earn you quite a hefty sum too. The book may have affiliate links to supplements that you recommend. From there you’ll get more affiliate sales. 

If you have a gardening site that promotes gardening equipment, a guide that shows how to create compost might sell hundreds or even thousands of copies. All these buyers will go on your list. You may then promote guides that show how to grow roses or other flowers faster and better.

Your list has already shown an interest in an info product. It only makes sense to recommend them a few more. Buyers who are passionate about their interest will lap up every product that catches their interest. This is a hungry crowd… and having your own product will help you tap into this group better as an affiliate.

To make things better, guess what you can do with your product?

You can allow other affiliates to sell it. Now you’ll have others promoting your product too. In fact, several of the other affiliates may have their own products that they’re selling. You will be able to network with them and promote their products too. Now you have contacts and can form mutually beneficial partnerships to boost your sales.

Having products of your own gives you immense leverage and opens up opportunities to you that you wouldn’t normally have. Do not make the mistake that so many affiliates make – fearing product creation.

Even if it takes you 3 months to create your own product, that will be time well-spent. The efforts you sow in product creation will yield profits many times over in future. Always play the long game and your affiliate commissions will soar. You’ll never look back after that.

Let’s Wrap It Up And Summarize

Things To Understand About Affiliate Marketing To Succeed At It

The three T’s of affiliate marketing

  • Trust
  • Traffic
  • Tracking

Who are the 3 Types of People Involved in Affiliate Marketing?

It’s very important to know that you’ll encounter 3 different groups of people

  • The Publishers
  • The Advertisers
  • The Consumers

7 Steps to Optimize Your Affiliate Marketing

  1. Formulate a plan
  2. Research and reach
  3. Traffic
  4. Content creation and marketing
  5. Promoting
  6. Analyzing
  7. Rinsing and repeating

Will Creating Your Own Products Make You a Better Affiliate?

Yes, the fastest way to become a better affiliate will be to start creating your own products. By creating your own products, not only will you make money from sales, but you’ll also build a list of buyers. This is imperative to succeeding in this business. 

So, now that you know what it takes as a beginner to start and become a full time affiliate marketer, are you still in?

Let me know in the comments...

Garry Baker

My name is Garry Baker and I am the founder of 30MinuteMarketing.net. Work at your online business for 30 minutes a day for 30 days and I guarantee you will have built something to be proud of as well as have a solid foundation that you can use to start to generate income online.

  • John says:

    Awesome article Garry, very informative!

    I like your tip about creating your own products and building a “buyers list” rather than just a list of freebie seekers.

    This is a real mindset shift that will take many affiliates to the next level!

    Top post!

    • Garry Baker says:

      Yeah for sure, it takes a while usually for new affiliates to realize that all the “super affiliates” have their own products…

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving the comment…

  • Sarah says:

    Ok let start from today…
    I have my own website…
    Have started affiliated marketing..

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