Affiliate Marketing For Dummies and Beginners – How Does It Work?

Hey Zamurai Warrior,

Today I want to talk to you a little bit about affiliate marketing for dummies and beginners, what it is, how it works and more importantly how you can make money with it.

The internet is an extremely powerful tool and when used correctly you can make a great income online. I personally make a full-time income online and have been doing so for the last 13 months or so. It took me a couple years to kinda figure this whole “internet” thing out, but I’m glad I did.

In this post I plan to share with you a bit of what I’ve learned in my journey online. Specifically, how you can start to make money with affiliate marketing, with or without a website and even if you’re a beginner.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

The first thing that we have to talk about is what exactly is affiliate marketing. Once you understand how affiliate marketing works it’ll help you better understand how you can make money from it.

affiliate marketing for dummiesThe textbook definition of affiliate marketing is:

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

So basically you get paid a commission for sending a particular company a customer.

The commission is paid by the company NOT the customer.

A perfect example of this is Amazon. Amazon is the biggest e-commerce website online and believe it or not, they have an affiliate program 🙂

Amazon is willing to pay you a commission for every customer you send them. Now of course they have to buy something for you to earn a commission.

The commission you earn is different for every company. Some companies pay a 5% commission and others can go as high as 30%. Other companies pay a flat fee. It really all depends.

There’s even some companies who will pay you without the customer having to buy anything. (but that’s a whole topic in it of itself)

How Does Affiliate Marketing Actually Work?

Now that you have a good understanding of what affiliate marketing works, let’s talk about how you actually get paid.

The first step to being an affiliate is to actually apply to the company’s affiliate program. Some companies will auto approve you and other companies will require some more information from you to get approved.

Again, it all depends on the company you’re applying to.

How does affiliate marketing workOnce you get access to your affiliate dashboard you can start making money. The way that you start making money as an affiliate is by using your affiliate link.

Inside your dashboard the company will supply you with a unique link that is tied with your affiliate ID. This means that no one else can use that unique link but you.

This is how the company knows which affiliate is sending them the sales. Along with your affiliate link there’s a little bit of magic that happens in the background that allows the tracking to go even smoother.

Whenever someone clicks on your affiliate link, there is an “affiliate cookie” that is installed on their browser that ties that person to your affiliate link.

This is helpful because some companies have a cookie lifespan of 24 hours – 6 months. This means that because of the “affiliate cookie” you can still get paid for sending that visitor to the company if the visitor returns to their website 6 months later and purchases at that time.

Some companies even have a lifetime cookie, but that’s pretty rare. Lifetime cookies mean that you will get paid FOR LIFE whenever that customer buys something from that company in the future. The more common lifespan is 24 hours – 30 days.

Amazon has a 24 hour affiliate cookie lifespan. So you will make money for everything the person you referred to them buys in a 24 hour period.

How To Start With Affiliate Marketing

Most companies don’t publicly advertise that they have an affiliate program, but there’s a few things you can do to find out if they do offer one.affiliate marketing for beginners

The easiest way to find out is to visit their website and scroll to the bottom of the page. From there look to see if they have a link that say “Affiliate Program” “Partner Program” or anything similar.

If you don’t see a link there, it doesn’t mean they don’t have one. The next step would be to go to the almighty Google. With Google you’ll be able to find an unlimited amount of affiliate programs.

All you have to do is just Google:

“company name + affiliate program”
“keyword + affiliate program”

That will tell you almost instantly how many affiliate programs are out there.

Worst case scenario if you can’t find an affiliate program for a particular product, you can always apply to Amazon’s affiliate program and see if they carry the product you’re looking for.

Now that you have the beginner understanding of affiliate marketing and you’ve applied to different affiliate programs you might be wondering exactly how to get people to click to your affiliate link?

Another big question you might be asking is if you need a website to make money with affiliate marketing?

The answer is yes and no. You can make money as an affiliate with or without a website. You can use video marketing with YouTube to drive people to click on your link. You can also use free website building sites like or, but that is an entire course in it of itself.

If you’d like to learn how you can start making a full-time income with affiliate marketing, I recommend joining my free course here.

Your Marketing Sensei,

Joshua Zamora

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *