What is Affiliate Marketing? 4-Step Guide to Affiliate Marketing

What is Affiliate Marketing? My 4-Step Guide

By Matthew Davis

Affiliate marketing is the process of essentially being the undercover salesman for your favorite company’s product or service. 

An affiliate marketer isn’t employed by the company but is incentivized to sell the product or service on behalf of the business. 

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Ok, but how exactly does this work?” then you came to the right place. 

If you watch videos on YouTube or read pretty much anything on the internet you’ve probably come across affiliate marketing before and haven’t even known about it.

I personally never liked the idea of selling another company’s product or service just to receive tiny amounts of money. 

It doesn’t really seem worth it“, my former, more naive self probably would have thought.

However, when I generated over $650 from an article I wrote on my Medium profile several months back, my perspective on affiliate marketing shifted dramatically. (As you could imagine.

$650 from just one blog post…“, I thought to myself, quietly. 

I was stoked! 

Here’s what I did for this particular scenario: I typed up a detailed tutorial for how to connect your crypto exchange to a crypto trading bot. (BitsGap.com – check it out.)

Believe it or not, this was the first time I included an affiliate link in any of my written content on Medium, and so it was pretty much just for the fun of it. I was aware of what I was doing, but sort of practicing, if you will. 

Earning that amount also took several months, and I had to convert the crypto that I earned to a special type of stablecoin, which sort of ended up being a pain in the ass – at least my particular example. 

But read on to hear my advice on how I did it.

It’s important to remember I only wrote the tutorial initially because I was truly excited to tell others about it. 

This leads us directly to our first affiliate marketing tip. 

1. Be Genuine. Focus on the Benefits of Owning. Not Just the Features.

Your success in affiliate marketing lies in your ability to be genuine in your portrayal of the product or service and how it can potentially benefit your audience. 

Think about your favorite products and services that you use regularly and the companies affiliated with them.

Once you’ve got a particular product or service in mind, you can begin writing content that includes your link while briefly mentioning or touching on the product’s relevant benefits in relation to you or your brand. 

Why do you think it’s something your audience should know about? What’re the benefits, and why do you love it so much that you need to tell others about it? 

When people click your link to sign-up, you’ll get a small commission from the sale. It really is, that easy.

Just be sure to include valuable information that people can use or gain insight from, otherwise, people will sniff out content that does not seem genuine or maybe even written by AI. 

Besides, most people don’t mind being marketed to by their favorite writer or content creator as opposed to watching an official company commercial.

(With the exception being the Super Bowl. Those commercials are still pretty good.)

2. Have Your Affiliate Systems Set-Up

That means before any readers, followers, or customers have boughten a single thing from one of your links. Whether it’s a website to sell products, a blog to write content on, a landing page to capture leads, or invoicing software to bill clients; you have to have your systems set up. 

This will include deciding on which platforms you will use for your affiliate promotions, which products or services you want to promote, and how often you will create content. 

Of course, you’ll want to connect your bank account to whichever platforms you’ll be using to cash out from.

There are dozens of different affiliate marketing platforms you can use to get links for your content. 

3. Choose Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Go to the website of the company or product that you enjoy. 

Check and see if they have an affiliate program. 

If all else fails, go to Google and search “Does ____ company offer an affiliate program?” 

That should give you the answer you’re looking for. 

Amazon associates allow you to promote and earn revenue off any product on Amazon. 

Click bank is widely known as one of the largest affiliate marketplaces. 

4. Create Engaging High-quality Content (Written or Video)

After you’ve decided on what you’ll promote, you can begin writing or creating content that provides your audience with valuable information in whichever niche you’re speaking to, while subtly inserting your affiliate link within the content or description of your video on YouTube. If you’re writing, you’ll create a hyperlink within the text. 

Then, those who are interested will click on your link and be provided with even more value by being introduced to something they possibly weren’t familiar with before reading or watching your content.

I personally recommend publishing your content and then forgetting about your link completely. 

Then check back in a few months to see how the affiliate content performed. 

That’s what I did in my example above when I thought I had “hit it big” in affiliate marketing. 

A lot of people want to make a lot of money with affiliate marketing. 

But trust me when I say that relying on that affiliate link to pay this month’s rent will likely leave you feeling down and out, and unless you have an established audience already then I wouldn’t exactly count on it. 

But that definitely doesn’t mean that you can’t work your way up to that by creating a ton of evergreen content that continues to earn a few dollars each month over time.  

And if you just set it and forget it, it will be like opening presents on Christmas morning when you finally do get around to checking it. 


In short, affiliate marketing is a popular form of marketing because it’s cost-effective and creates a win-win situation for both the advertiser and of course, you, the affiliate marketer.  

It took around 6 months for my link to generate the $600+ that it did, which I realize is not that much money. But it’s money that I made passively by only doing about two hours’ worth of worth. 

Which is not too bad, if you were to ask me. 

That’s it, now you have 75% of the information needed to get you started on your affiliate marketing journey. 

Of course, be sure to do your own research, and check out other resources online. 

(Because that’s always the smart thing to do, right?) 

Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your affiliate marketing endeavors! 

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