Affiliate Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide and Niches List

Are you running a website with high traffic? How are you getting the most out of it? Are you making passive income based on your traffic? If not yet, then congrats, you came to the right place.

Many eCommerce entrepreneurs are dreaming to have a life like Jeff Bezos – earning even while sleeping. For many of you, this may already be happening if you run a store that’s open 24/7, just like Jeff Bezos. But there are still other passive income that you can tap to further your income-generating capacity. One of these is Affiliate Marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is the process of earning commission by simply promoting or featuring brands on your website. It’s a kind of business strategy wherein a brand invites advertisers or publishers to create content promoting their products for customers to be enticed to purchase. In this model, the publisher gets a certain commission for every sale.

Affiliate Marketing has three parts: Business – Advertiser / Publisher – Consumer.

  • Business: Seller of the product or service.
  • Advertiser / Publisher: These are your affiliates or the promoters of your offerings.
  • Consumer: The end-users of the product or service.

How does it work?

Affiliates produce content within their website that features a business’ products / services. These affiliates only get paid when their website visitors create a transaction. These transactions can be in the form of sale, sign up, or download. Whatever the case may be.

Businesses benefit from affiliate marketing mainly because they get easy promotions and advertisements for a minimal fee. Publishers on the other hand generate commissions by simply capitalizing on their existing web traffic, these websites can either be a personal blog site or another business website. The consumers in this context are those who purchase the featured products (owned by the business) from the website of the publisher. Technically, the subliminal message here is that the publisher acts as a salesman for the business to lure you into purchasing.

What are the Most Common Affiliate Models?

Pay-Per-Click (PPC): In this model, the business pays the affiliate for every click that was generated regardless of whether a transaction has happened. This is the perfect situation for an affiliate but not so for businesses.

Pay-Per-Lead (PPL): In this model, the business pays the affiliate for every lead generated. It can be as simple as form submission, sign-ups, or any pre-purchase action.

Pay-Per-Sale (PPS): In this model, the business pays the affiliate for every sale that they were able to generate. This is the most commonly used model, which is a win-win setup for businesses.

Why Should Businesses Practice Affiliate Marketing?

Low-Cost Business Opportunity

This is indeed the realest reason on why Affiliate Marketing is a must-have for every business. With affiliate marketing, you can get extensive reach for only a minimal fee, or even for free sometimes. The more affiliates you have, the bigger reach your brand gets. Plus, it’s not only a one-way relationship, you can also be the affiliate / publisher of your affiliates so you can also get commissions from them.

Targeted Traffic

One of the problems that many businesses face is that they get many inquiries but very little conversions. One of the reasons for this is that you may be attracting individuals that are not within your target market. With affiliate marketing, you get to work with affiliates that are niche-specific. Meaning, if you sell home decor products then you can simply look for affiliates that have the same audience. With a niche-specific affiliate, you will certainly get high-quality leads.

Performance-based Commission

Are you tired of working with an ad agency that cannot provide real results? If yes, then affiliate marketing is the perfect choice. The good thing with this strategy is that you only pay on a commission-basis - meaning, you don’t pay for something that has not benefited you. It’s a really good marketing deal even if you ask marketing experts.

Get your own Marketing Army

Another good thing with affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to grow your internal marketing assistants to gain bigger reach. Your affiliates will do that for you. Essentially, imagine having a marketing army to promote your products and services for you, that’s exactly how affiliate marketing works.

Better Customer Trust

The good thing with these niche affiliates is that they are trusted within their own sphere. Meaning, they have a huge following because their audience trusts them. When you’re lucky enough to get these kinds of affiliates, it will not be long before such an audience will be your customers. Plus, it’s like the publishers telling their customers “take my word for it”. That’s the messaging that you want to have with your affiliates, which is exactly why you should only work with high-quality affiliates who are leaders in their own sphere.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing

As mentioned earlier, the good thing about affiliate marketing is that it’s not one-sided, you can also be an affiliate yourself, so you can leverage on the existing web traffic that you already have. This practice is perfect if you already have an existing blog site. You may just add in informational blogs featuring other brands, so you can get away from the typical tips and tricks and announcement kinds of blogs. This way, you’ll also be growing your reach by linking your website to other websites that most likely have bigger web traffic.

So, to become an affiliate, these are the things that you need to do:

Pick your Niche

If you already have a webstore running, then your niche must be in line with your main offering. Build that expertise in your niche by constantly releasing valuable contents that might be helpful for your audience. If you do this right, you can be certain that you’ll be growing your web traffic greatly.

Sign Up for an Affiliate Program

The best way to get jumpstart your affiliate marketing journey is by simply signing up for affiliate programs. Once you sign up, you will get an affiliate link with your unique ID. You can then use this link in all your content releases.

Choose Products to Promote

Research the niches that you can leverage on and sign up for their respective affiliate programs. For example, if you’re selling an online subscription for a software, then you can search for related affiliate niches within the digital good sphere. From there, you can also be growing your website reach. My tip here is that you should only feature products that are well within your sphere, if you try to look expert at something that you’re not, chances are high that your brand trust will decline.

Craft Excellent Content

Once you’ve signed up and chosen which products you want to promote, this is the time that you should work on your magic. Your success in affiliate marketing will greatly depend on the quality of the content that you release. Customers are smart, they know if you have not tried the product yourself, so make sure to only promote products, which you’ve actually tried. Otherwise, it will be brand suicide.

Optimize and Track

Businesses and merchants have a way of tracking your affiliate link progress. However, you should not fully rely on that. You must have your own tracking of your affiliate content, so you will know first-hand if your content worked well. It’s also important that you can gauge your performance  so you can improve and better understand the kinds of content that performs well.

Wait for your Money

Once you follow these steps, the next step is to just wait for your passive income!

Exclusive Niche List for Affiliate Marketing

Digital Products

These are typically the ones you buy online and instantly consume. Some examples of products under this niche are e-books, mobile apps, and all other digital content.

SaaS Products and Online Services

Online tools and services are also a hot spot for affiliates since these are not a one-time commission basis. You get a certain percentage for every subscription which can be by month or by year. Some examples under this niche are eCommerce tools, productivity tools, invoicing, web hosting, graphic designing and more.

Physical Products

These are actual and tangible products. Affiliate marketing here works as a tool to build a sense of trust with the potential customers and can be in the form of a comprehensive customer testimonial or recommendations. From electric kettle to hair iron to the hippest jeans, you’ll certainly find a merchant / affiliate for almost all physical products.

Online Courses

If you haven’t noticed it yet, digital goods are mostly big on affiliate marketing. And of course, this includes online courses. This market has grown tremendously in the past few years. The good thing about this is that you’ll be sure to find something relevant for you, whatever niche you’re in. There are numerous training platforms that offer affiliate programs including Udemy, one of the biggest online course platforms today.


Overall, if you’re considering jumping into affiliate marketing, there’s no better time to do it than now. The market is so big that you can easily tap into any of your chosen niche. However, keep in mind that you need to take on the work as well as an affiliate. For businesses, now is the best time to incorporate affiliate marketing into your business strategy. You might be missing out on a big revenue potential.

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AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate referral links. I will get a commission from the vendor when you make a purchase after clicking them at no added cost to you. As a result, many of them also provide you with a special discount just for using my link. You can go directly to their support if you have any issues with their software or product.

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