Affiliate Marketing for Dummies – It Is Simpler Thank You Think!

Can you make money with shutterstock
Click the picture to learn more about affiliate marketing.

Have you heard of the famous “For Dummies” -series? They teach you everything between the Earth and the sky. One of their books is also called, “Affiliate Marketing for Dummies”.

In this article, I am not going to talk to you about that book but I am going to teach how you can make money with affiliate marketing online like I do. I have also many friends who use the exact same 4-step process for making money with affiliate marketing and it works very well.

It’s a proven method that has been tested thousands of times during the last 15 years and it just seems to work. Actually, I know many people who have made consistently +$10,000/month for years by using this system.

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Affiliate Marketing for Dummies – Video Explanation

I also created an educational video where I teach you the 4 simple steps for making money with affiliate marketing. Enjoy!


I also asked my friend, Rufat, to share his tips and thoughts for beginners who want to make money online with affiliate marketing. His tips are on quotes and the rest of the text is written by me (Roope) in this article. Rufat’s website is called YourIncomeAdvisor.com and he also teaches people how they can make a living online. Let’s start with the first question.

affiliate marketing for dummies
Rufat learned more affiliate marketing also on Wealthy Affiliate.

What Is Affiliate Marketing? – Simple Explanation

“Affiliate marketing is promoting someone’s product or service for a commission.” -Rufat

That’s what it simply is. Let me give you one simple example. I bought recently some vitamins on the website called iHerb.com. Then I did a Facebook post where I said that I just bought vitamins on iHerb and you can buy also. I left a link to iHerb to my post. Some of my friends (I don’t even know who) went to their website and bought vitamins also and I earned commissions for that.

Or have you ever read, “Best 5 smartphones for 2018”, “Best 7 hiking shoes for 2017”, “Canon x548 review” or something similar on the Internet? People are making reviews of products and they leave a link to an online store saying, “Check out these products on Amazon!”

Then you go to Amazon, order the product and the guy who left a link earns a commission. If you want to make money online with affiliate marketing it simply works like this:

  1. Leave a specific link. (For example to Amazon)
  2. Somebody clicks the link.
  3. He buys a product. (No matter what he buys if he just went to Amazon through your link.)
  4. You earn a commission.

Simple, huh? This step-by-step training walks you through everything you need to know about the process.

4 sptes Affiliate Marketing for Dummies
This is a typical 4-step process of making money with affiliate marketing.

How Much Money Can You Make with Affiliate Marketing?

“You can earn from a few bucks up to thousands of dollars per month/day.” -Rufat

One of the greatest benefits of affiliate marketing is that there isn’t an income limit. When I was younger, I was a taxi driver. I learned a few tricks on how to find a shorter route or entertain people to get some tip but the income potential was very limited. I couldn’t earn more than 25€/hour ($30/hour) and I’m talking about the maximum. Normally it was only around 10€/hour.

affiliate marketing for dummies
Income potential is much better with affiliate marketing than a typical 9-5 job. (Read my full post by clicking the picture.)

With affiliate marketing, I don’t have a similar challenge. Recently I talked in an online marketing event with a friend who was making +$200,000/month with affiliate marketing. That would never be possible with 99% of normal 9-5 jobs.

Of course, that kind of income with affiliate marketing requires years of work and doesn’t happen overnight. Most people make less money with affiliate marketing (including myself) but it really shows the potential. I make good enough money but I have seen many people failing. I have recognized most common pitfalls why people fail to make big money:

  1. Most people don’t even try/start.
  2. They don’t have a step-by-step training.
  3. They try it for a little while, don’t make money and quit.
  4. They don’t want to try new things so they only make things that make them enough to live by.
  5. Etc.
affiliate marketing for dummies
The key is just to start. I will support you hand by hand all the way to success.

Probably the most common reason why people don’t make big money with affiliate marketing is that they quit too early. It leads us to our next question:

How Long Does it Take to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing?

If you are a complete beginner, it may take a while that you start earning good money. I know some people who made their first income with affiliate marketing right away within the first week after starting but it usually takes longer to make good money like Rufat explains. It also depends on a little bit on what kind of strategy you are using.

“It really depends. Normally it takes 6 months or 1 year to start making money. But I personally made my first buck after 90 days of launching my website. Few people start making money within the first 2-3 months.” -Rufat

Some strategies can make you money during the first week but they don’t lead to a consistent income. On the other hand, other strategies may take 3-6 months but those build up your income like a snowball and over the time course, your income will exponentially grow.

Let me ask you a question:

How much time does it take to make money with a normal path? School – University – 9-5 job etc.

Most people go to a University for 3-5 years and they start making money after that. If you would commit 3-5 years for affiliate marketing like you commit to the University, most likely you’ll be making much more money afterward.

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I went to a University of Applied Sciences and received a bachelor degree. Then I went to a 9-5 job for a while. However, I quickly realized that it didn’t make sense. I could earn much more money online and have more freedom than in a typical job.

  1. I can work whenever and wherever I want.
  2. I can make much more money online than with my 9-5 job.
  3. I can travel around the world and go anywhere I want. (My current travel goes like this: Austria-Bulgaria-Turkey-UAE-Philippines etc.)
  4. I enjoy what I’m doing.
affiliate marketing for dummies
This was just a dream a few years ago for me but now it’s possible. However, I usually prefer working inside than at the beach! 😉

If I will have kids in the future, I’ll rather teach them how they can make money online than go to a University. Of course, there are some exceptions like doctors but most people would love to make money online. When I explain the life I can live many people say they would like to live it as well. I’m always more than happy to help anyone who wants to learn.

I also provide 1-on-1 support for anyone who joins Wealthy Affiliate community through my website.

What Is the Best Way to Earn with Affiliate Marketing?

“The best way is promoting digital products that pay up to 75% commission compared to physical products that normally pay up to 10%.” -Rufat

Rufat is right that digital products usually pay much bigger commissions than physical products. I’ve seen also a product that pays 100% commission for affiliate marketers. Then a company hopes that they’ll sell more products to the customer who bought the initial product.

Let’s take an example. You write to promote a book an Amazon that costs $20 and they pay you a 5% commission. You earn a $1 commission and you need to make 3,000 such book sales a month to make $3,000/month. Another person promotes a digital product that costs $200 and they pay him a 50% commission. He needs to make only 30 sales to reach the same $3,000/month.

People are also every year using more and more money on digital products so it’s a good idea to promote them. That being said, I know people who make good money also by promoting physical products. My recommendation is that you start with something that you are passionate about and most of the time money will follow. I know people who make only book reviews and they make much more money than an average person in the U.S.

affiliate marketing for dummies
Digital products pay usually highest commissions.

At this point, you may be wondering, “How can I find good digital products that I could promote?” This step-by-step training will teach you everything about that as well.

Best Tips for Beginner Affiliate Marketers

“I think the best 3 tips I can give for beginners in affiliate marketing are: Prepare to work hard and be patient until you make your first buck, make it a habit to learn new things from other successful affiliate marketers and take action on what you learn.” -Rufat

I really like Rufat’s advice. Like I mentioned above, one of the most important reasons why people fail with affiliate marketing is that they quit too easily. That’s why they never see the successful days. Sometimes the successful events are just waiting around the corner.

Another key is just to start and try new things. You can never know what affiliate marketing could bring to your life until you start. There was a good about good health and when you read half of the book and it says, “Put this book away, fall on the floor and see how many push-ups you can make. If you’re not going to try those push-ups, why don’t you just give this book away? It seems that you are not going to try anyway.”

So, the key is just to start!

How to Learn Affiliate Marketing Fast?

I talked with one of my friends about making money online and affiliate marketing. I asked her, “Why wouldn’t you learn to make money online?” She said, “Well, I don’t know how to do it. In addition, I don’t have any other friends than you who already do it.”

Actually, she was even a better position than when I was when I started. I didn’t know a single person who would make money with affiliate marketing online. I didn’t have any friends who could have taught me hand-by-hand.

However, I found a website called Wealthy Affiliate that taught me everything I needed to know about making money online with affiliate marketing. They had a step-by-step training, helpful community and tons of tools that helped me to move forward. If I got stuck, I was always able to ask more experienced people who helped me out.

Wealthy Affiliate has also taught +1,000,000 million other people all over the world on making money with affiliate marketing. One of them is Rufat who shared his knowledge in this post as well. As I mentioned above, I will give you my 1-on-1 support and help always when you need it. You can click the picture below to get started.

4 Steps to Making Money Online

By Roope Kiuttu

Hello! I am Roope "Robert" Kiuttu, the founder and owner of YourOnlineRevenue.com. I created this website back in 2015 to help you to make money online. You can ask me anything and I'll be happy to help you out. I help people daily to make more money online and I love seeing people succeeding. If you want to get my 1-on-1 support and help to make money online as well, get started HERE.

38 comments

  1. Its really a superb way of online earning. I really admire your guidance and very thankful for your generous efforts.

  2. Thank you for simplifying what affiliate marketing is and discussing this from the perspective of someone who’s starting out in this business. As you have always underlined, it’s not something that you can achieve overnight.

    Making money online is not that popular in our country. Maybe because only few people have knowledge about it despite of the proliferation of internet and social media. I’m glad I came to know about this. This looks very promising for me.

    1. Yeah, making money online requires effort from anyone. Everybody needs to start from 0 but little by little by learning the skills you will make it.

      I think the most important things are the willingness to learn and then just taking action.

  3. You’ve answered my questions about affiliate marketing with this article. I’m getting more interested with this market. What are the products that are easily sold in affiliate marketing?

    1. As a rule of thumb, I recommend that you start selling something that you are genuinely interested. Then you’ll find it more enjoyable for yourself also at the beginning when you need motivation to move forward.

      I recommend that to get started you choose the products that are already selling a lot. For example, after choosing your niche, pick products on Amazon that are on the price range of $50-200 and they have tons of positive reviews.

      1. I agree promoting something you are used to will easily relieve you of any stresses. As a matter of fact you can review the products that you have used before.

  4. I love this website due to the loads of information that it has. It is very important to get such facts from real people who i know have tried and gotten real results and actually generated cash.
    I would like to know how long one can take when starting affiliate marketing from scratch to actually generate some siginificant cash.

    1. That’s a good question and I get asked that often.

      It really depends on the effort you put in and the strategy you use.

      I have seen people starting making money within a week but some people have waited for 12 months before making the first money. Obviously those who took 12 months to make money didn’t use the right strategy.

      I recommend going through the Wealthy Affiliate step-by-step training to accelerate your progress and make money with affiliate marketing faster.

      1. Thanks Roope. I am seriously considering this as my next income generation plan.

        It’s true that it can take time and effort but like you put it in the post the normal schools take much more time and effort sometimes even leading to little success in the job market. Some people are just wired to think that because schools have existed since time in memorial then that is the one and only true path.

        I will get back to you when i make the right arrangements on my end.

        1. Yeah, I think that building an online business and make money online is a much better choice than a regular school. I have a degree from the University but I don’t need it at all because I’m able to make much more money online. Thanks to Wealthy Affiliate.

          If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t go to the University but instead I would right away start learning how to make money online and putting the skills into action.

          1. My sentiments exactly. You don’t know how much I als OK tend to hate myself for only having discovered about such things only recently. I have a degree sitting in my closet that i acquired in four years. I envision where I could have been had i kickstarted my online enterpreneurship journey then. But its never too late anyways is it?

          2. Yeah, you are right. If you would have invested the same 4 years for making money online, you would be making big money now if you are doing the right things.

            Anyways, it’s never too late to get started like you said! Imagine where you will be after 4 years from now if you start today.

          3. Actually now that you put it that way I can find all the right reasons to consider starting soonest. It is never about the past but a focus on the future. Thanks for the input as always.

          4. Yeah. Huge things can happen in a few years.

            One of the greatest success stories of Wealthy Affiliate is probably a British man called Dom Wells. He started as a complete beginner in 2012 and 5 years later in 2017 his company was making $1,000,000 per year.

            You can read his story here.

          5. I’m seriously considering affiliate marketing because of this very informative article. As I am still a student, is it possible to handle both of them together? My parents would probably kick me if I left school.?

          6. Yes, it’s certainly possible to do the both. I started my “affiliate marketing career” (if we can call it so) when I was still a student in the University. I got started as a complete beginner on Wealthy Affiliate.

            Afterwards, I graduated and got a degree but don’t need the degree anymore because I earn more money online. And think that I am from a “rich country” called Finland. If you are from a cheaper country, your purchasing power will be awesome when you start making a serious money online.

  5. I am also interested in making more money online. At this current time I am holding down my own business as well as going to school. It would be a dream to make some money by selling other people’s stuff.

    But my question is, how can I get my products ( which is indie rap music streams and downloads and merchandise) to be marketed and sold by other people as well. Hope this makes since. In other words my company needs this same service.

    1. Hmm… I don’t have personal experience of promoting music streams. However, you can promote music products for example on Amazon or on other sites like iTunes.

      Just type, “Amazon Affiliate program”, “iTunes affiliate program” or wherever you want to promote your music, write, “XXXXX Affiliate Program” and you’ll find it.

  6. I’m coming to the realization that affiliate marketing is what I really need to go into to make some money for myself. The thing is getting my mind up to begin and what I have come to notice is that one can become popular as well through affiliate marketing which is good. The challenge we have in our country is the payment methods and the restrictions that comes with starting this. I would be glad to see your view on that.

    1. What payment methods can you use? PayPayl? Bank transfer? If you can use either of those, you can do affiliate marketing.

      Affiliate marketing is great because it’s easy to get started but still have a huge potential. But I just want to remind that it takes time to make good money with affiliate marketing like it takes with any other business.

      1. The payment method that we could use is PayPal by selling to a third party amd getting the funds in our local currency. However, I would like to know if I can start on wealthy affiliate from the shores of Nigeria as well.

  7. I’ve been searching for all the opportunities to make money online and after reading this article I came to the conclusion that affiliate marketing is one of the best ways. Of course it’s a lot of work to do and the money won’t appear over night, but it’s a legit way to earn some online cash. I will give it a try. Thank you!

    1. That’s true. Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn money online. One of the greatest benefits of affiliate marketing is that it’s easy to get started. Most likely you won’t see results right away but when you keep on putting in the effort, your earnings will grow like a snowball over the time course.

  8. I really believe that people can make a decent income through affiliate marketing. The steps are not very complicated and people can earn a lot just by changing their mindset and thinking strategically. Personally, I would love to try this so that I can earn additional income and maybe make it as my major source of income if I would just concentrate on it and take it very seriously.

    Thank you for those wonderful ideas. It was nice dropping by this site and reading this informative article. It can help many people who aspires to be rich.

    1. Nice thoughts! You are right that it really depends on the mindset. In my opinion, the best mindset for affiliate marketing is to think it long term. You can make big money but it requires time and effort.

      You can certainly start generating income with affiliate marketing.

      If you ever need help, I will be more than happy to help you out.

  9. Started affiliate marketing for more than a month now. I know I am still on the very very early stage. Frankly I am getting a little frustrated about this. Most of the videos and blogs that I have watched and read mostly leads to subscribing or purchasing products to them. I know that I have to invest somehow.

    But with the critical financial status I am in right now, I am still in doubt. I am still on a search. Right now I started my Pinterest account with an affiliate link to it this is only 5 days old. Close my eyes , deep breath and pray a lot to get the right knowledge I require.

    1. The truth is that succeeding with affiliate marketing requires work like anything else. Imagine that people go to a college for 3-5 years and then they start earning their first money. With affiliate marketing the process can be way faster but it still requires time and work.

      If you need money fast, I recommend that you do freelancing jobs first. Making money with affiliate marketing takes time but the rewards are also greater than with freelancing, for example.

      Check out this article where I explain you several online jobs.

  10. I was introduced to affiliate marketing in 2010. Currently, I am promoting affiliate products from amazon, commission junction and linkshare on my blogs and websites. However, I have failed to generate good income from affiliate marketing. I am still struggling to find out what is going wrong.

    1. Affiliate marketing is easy to start but it requires consistent work to be successful. I have seen many people starting but they quit before they succeed.

      There are basically two things that you need to master: 1.Traffic and 2.Conversions. You need to figure out how to get enough eyeballs to your site and then how to convert visitors into customers. I like generating organic traffic from search engines because it’s the most stable form of traffic.

  11. Affiliate programs really are the most profitable ways of working over the internet today! The best part is that you do not need to create any product, just sell it! You also don’t need to have stock of products and much less employees! Congratulations for the article! I loved!

    1. Good points! Affiliate marketing certainly has many benefits and it’s growing all the time. Have you done affiliate marketing? What kind of products have you been promoting?

  12. Affiliate marketing really is a pretty good way to make a living considering you are able to earn passive income with relatively less risk than you would had you set up your own retail business which would require a lot of investment in inventory. This way you could just leverage off of other people’s products and still make a good amount of passive income just using multiple streams.

    The only downside, I suppose, is that a lot of people equate that with being much easier, but it’s just like any other job or business wherein you really need to dedicate a lot of time and effort to learn and discover as well as experiment.

    1. Yeah, affiliate marketing is very easy to start. Anyone can get a link and share it to earn income. Once I bought vitamins and shared it right away on Facebook just to let my friends know. As a result I earned money even though I wasn’t expecting that to happen 😀

      But of course, making big money with affiliate marketing requires lots of work and effort like any other kind of business.

  13. The ideas are very informative. I am glad that I was able to read this site. I have also watched the videos twice. It is helpful too.

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