Affiliate Marketing For Beginners: How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 7 Basic Steps

I’m stoked you’re looking into affiliate marketing for beginners and more specifically how to make your first affiliate sale.

As a beginner, starting an online business centered around affiliate marketing is what I would consider the best online business model to get started with.

There’s a lot of noise out there on the internet that can pull you in a thousand different directions when starting out…

You’re simply trying to get this whole online business thing to work for you…

I assume by now you already know what affiliate marketing is.

So, we’re going to skip all of that and get to the 7 fundamental steps you need to make your first affiliate sale.  And we’re going to take a look at how to scale the process up from $1, to $100 per month, to $1000 per month, and even to $10K per month and beyond!

But hey… it’s NOT about the money.  I always say it, but I want to stress that if you’re building a business to make money then you might as well stop before you even start.

Instead, starting a business online should be about making in impact, providing value to the marketplace that you’re in, and then make your first affiliate sale.

Oh and one more thing before we jump into the steps…

Please do NOT try to make quick money and use strategies to earn your first affiliate commission in 24 hours. 😐

Rather, we’re going to take the long-term approach to building an online business that generates us income…  Income that goes nicely with a full-time job or could even replace your income.😀

The ONLY way to do that is by focusing on a long-term strategy for affiliate marketing.

Now, let’s get into it!

Here’s a sneak preview of all 7 steps to earning your first affiliate marketing commission.

We’re going to take a look at all 7 of those steps, so you can start to earn your first affiliate commission.  And you’ll be building a business that’s setup to work for you for the long-term.

Step 1: Define Your Niche

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners Niche Selection

The most important and likely the most difficult step is defining your niche.

It’s an important step because…

  • you need to enjoy what you’re working on
  • going after too competitive a niche would be extremely difficult
  • you should be willing to continually learn about the subject

It’s a difficult step because…

  • you need to research your competitors
  • it can be difficult to find a mix of low competition and something you enjoy

Now that you’ve got a clearer picture on what’s involved, it’s time to start.

The first you’ll want to do is start by thinking about what you enjoy and are passionate about.  Unless you’ve already got your heart set one something and already know what you want to do, you’re going to have to determine what you want to do.

To do this, I recommend making a list of at least 5 things you’re interested in.  Maybe they’re hobbies you have already, something you’d want to learn more about, or maybe even tie into the job you’re working right now if working full-time.

Just remember, the more knowledge you already have on a subject the easier it will be to create and share content online.

Next, you need to do the heavy-lifting of research.

In particular, you’ll want to do some research using Google and just start to type in the main things from the list that you created earlier of what you’re already interested in.

What you want to ideally be looking for is a gap in the market.  They’re difficult to find but think about ways you want to share the knowledge you have on a subject that interests you and then go out and see if anyone is already doing it.

The more specific you get the better because you’ll eventually come up with an idea that’s super specific.  And when you have an idea that’s specific enough it means that there’s likely not going to be too many competitors.

You can always expand the topics you’re covering, but the more specific you are initially the better chance you have of growing your online business faster.

Now that you’ve selected a niche, it’s time to choose how you want to share the content you create with the world.

Step 2: Choose Your Starting Platform

The biggest mistake you can make when choosing a platform to share content on is doing it because it converts well or you see other people having success with it.

Certainly, these are good things but you do NOT want to start creating content on a platform that goes against your strengths.

In other words, don’t start by creating YouTube videos if you can’t stand to be on camera.  Don’t start a blog if you’re terrible at writing and have zero interest in it.  And don’t start a podcast if you don’t already enjoy listening to other podcasts.

Remember, you can always expand later to other platforms (hint… that’s Step 7) but don’t don’t skip steps or try to do two things at once.

The recommend starting with ONE of the following three platforms:

  • A Blog
  • A YouTube Channel
  • A Podcast

These three platforms all have the same idea in common and that is driving traffic and visitors to your content through the power of search engines.

By using search engines as the vehicle to drive traffic, you’ll be getting super-targeted traffic to your offers whenever someone types in a search query that’s related to your content.

This means higher conversion rates and more sales down the line once you’ve got things up and running with a substantial amount of content.

Step 3: Setup The Essentials

Let’s go through now and talk about:

  • How to start a YouTube Channel
  • How to start a Podcast
  • How to start a Blog

Let’s dive right in…

How To Start A YouTube Channel

If you’re starting a YouTube Channel, it’s pretty simple to get started by heading over to YouTube and creating a channel for free.  

From there, you would simply need to create a channel art and profile pic so people feel comfortable subscribing to you.

Here’s a great video on how to then grow your channel from there…

How To Start A Podcast

If you’re starting a podcast, I’d recommend going with Buzzsprout to host your podcast.

From there, I recommend taking a look through this awesome post from Podcast Insights on how to start a podcast.

They’ve got a really nice walk-through guide to get things setup. 🙂

How To Start A Blog

I’ve actually got a full article on how to start a blog if you want to check that, so I’ll give a brief overview here.

Here’s the steps for starting a blog:

  1. Select A Niche For Your Blog (✅…you’ve already done this)
  2. Come Up With A Website Name (Domain Name) Related To Your Niche
  3. Sign Up For Web Hosting To Start Building Your Website (I recommend Bluehost since it’s cheap, fast, and gets the job done)
  4. Build Your Website With WordPress (I use the Elementor page builder to design my site. Read my Elementor review here.)
  5. Get A Logo Made For Your Site Brand (You can use Fiverr to get one made.)
  6. Choose An Affiliate Program To Start Promoting And Earning
  7. Choose A Product To Promote And Get The Affiliate Link
  8. Create Consistent Epic Content
  9. Drive Traffic To Your Content
  10. Build An Email List For Customer Follow-Up

Step 4: Create Epic Content That’s Helpful And Solves A Problem

Now that you have the foundation laid, it’s time to create content.

The goal of your content is that it should be helpful and also solve a problem.

When you focus on these two things, you’ll start to build an audience.

But you won’t be building any old audience… Instead, you’ll be building an audience that trusts you and wants to hear specifically what you have to say on certain topics and areas within your niche.

There are other things that are helpful to growing an audience, such as keyword research.  However, there’s no substitute for trial and error.

It’s simply going to take a long time to build up an audience no matter the niche you choose. 

It will likely be years before you have a good size audience of over 100,000 but if you stick with it then the return will be great.

Step 5: Build An Email List To Promote Your Content And Affiliate Offers

One of the things that so many people neglect is building an email list.

It’s definitely not something you need to be doing and have set in place before you start creating any content. 

However, about 30 or so blog posts, videos, or recordings in it may be something to look into (this is obviously a varying number depending upon how well each piece of content does to attract visitors).

Your email list is truly one of the few things you own as an online business.

It’s a way to personally send out emails to warm up your audience.  Plus, you can setup automations to run on autopilot and start to send people back to your content and affiliate offers.

I recommend going with ActiveCampaign to setup your email autoresponder and get started with creating email automations.  You can read my ActiveCampaign review if interested.

Step 6: Test And Optimize Your Site And Sales Funnels

This is where things get interesting!

Once you’re starting to get a decent amount of traffic to the platform you’re promoting on, it’s only a matter of time before you start to see some sales roll in from affiliate offers and you get your first affiliate sale! 😀

I can tell you that it took me personally 5 weeks for my first blog post to rank in Google and get my first affiliate commission for $100.

You’ll want to start to optimize your content for conversions.

Whether you’re optimizing it to get more people as email subscribers or affiliate sales, it’s something that will pay direct dividends.

Essentially, increasing conversions to sales will boost your profits with the same amount of traffic.

Step 7: Scale Your Affiliate Marketing Business

Guess what?

You’ve now got a proven system that doesn’t just work for someone else…

It’s actually working for you!

The best part is that by focusing on creating content for search engines it will have a lifespan of years and won’t need to be updated that often.

It will in many ways be generating you passive income with minimal effort to maintain.

Now, all you have to do is create more content, start outsourcing tasks, and expand to additional platforms! 😎

Affiliate Marketing Frequently Asked Questions

Follow the steps in this post and get started creating content.  I recommend starting a blog, YouTube channel, or podcast.

You increase affiliate sales by either driving more traffic or maximizing conversions.  The easiest thing will likely be maximizing conversions through simply split-testing.

Yes, you can definitely make money with affiliate marketing.  It’s just important to know that it will likely be several years before you’re making enough income to do it full-time if that’s something you’re interested in.

I recommend either starting a YouTube Channel or podcast if you want to start affiliate marketing without a website.

It usually takes a couple months to earn your first affiliate commission.  For me, it took 5 weeks to make my first affiliate commission from my blog.

You maximize sales by increasing the conversion rate and optimizing your sales funnel or website.

Some of the highest paying affiliate programs that I’m aware of are ClickFunnels, Legendary Marketer, and Bluehost.  I recommend finding high ticket affiliate programs and monthly recurring affiliate programs.

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners Conclusion

Here’s a quick recap on the 7 steps to make your first affiliate sale:

  • Define your niche.
  • Choose your starting platform.
  • Setup the essentials.
  • Create epic content that’s helpful and solves a problem
  • Build an email list to promote your content and affiliate offers
  • Test and optimize your site and sales funnels
  • Scale your affiliate marketing business

Those are the steps to not only earning your first affiliate sale, but also growing a profitable affiliate marketing online business.

And it’s an online business that’s sure to be around for the long-term.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this post!  If you did, then leave a comment below. 😀

Affiliate Disclaimer

I hope you enjoyed this post. This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my links at no additional cost to you.  I'm an independent ClickFunnels Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from ClickFunnels. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of ClickFunnels or its parent company, Etison LLC.

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