How to build a business as an Affiliate Marketer

Back in 2013, I began affiliate marketing in a fairly big way.

I’d grown an audience who trusted me, I’d also made some great connections with some awesome course creators and I wanted to bring the two together.

It turned out to be a super successful few months as I tested out various strategies from outright selling in my emails to inviting my community to webinars, to adding bonuses etc.

In fact for my community at the time I created an ebook called ‘How I Generated over $65k in 3 months in affiliate sales’!

It was a collection of the emails I sent out to promote the products I was selling and although had some great tips, the emails are really old school Frank Kern type sales emails and I absolutely wouldn’t go down that route these days.

What is Affiliate Marketing Really?

You might be mistaken in thinking affiliate marketing is an easy way to make money. It is not.

Granted, you don’t have to create your own products or services and do all the work associated with that which definitely makes it an ‘easier’ way to generate an income online. But to say it’s easy would be very wrong.

It takes time, trust, a deep knowledge of your industry, your customers and the products you are promoting.

I’m not ashamed to say I’m a bit of a part time affiliate marketer and not the expert in this arena at all and so I’m going to hand over to quite possibly the most well known affiliate marketer on the web today.


In this video he’s walking you through;

  1. How to create a demo of the product you’d like to promote
  2. How to create a resources page with the products you want to promote
  3. How to create a video tutorial series around the product you’re promoting
  4. Adding your video tutorial as a blog post on your website
  5. Creating a video of a list of resources including the product you’re promoting
  6. Hosting a podcast interview with the creator of the product you’re promoting
  7. Hosting a webinar with the creator of the product you’re promoting
  8. Creating a checklist around the product you’re promoting
  9. Creating a short challenge around the product you’re promoting

How to Get Started in Affiliate Marketing

So, as Pat says in his video, he didn’t generate $300k overnight and it’s not always easy to get the owners of the products on your podcasts or webinars especially if you have no list and no audience yet!

Here are my top tips for getting an affiliate marketing business off the ground;

1. Read Pat Flynns – Epic Guide to Affiliate Marketing

If you’re going to start anywhere, start there. He’s without doubt my go to guy.

2. Provide value & build your audience.

Whether you choose to host a podcast, grow a youtube channel, build a blog, a FB group, whatever platform you choose (Day 17), build trust through the content you publish.

This goes for any business model whether you’re affiliating for someone else or selling your own products. Trust beats any marketing or sales hack you may have heard of.

Yes it takes good old fashioned hard graft to research your audience, understand their needs and then create valuable content and solve any challenges they have. But the rewards for building that reputation and that element of trust are tenfold. And I’m not just talking financial rewards either.

To build an audience of people who you’re impacting and helping on a daily basis feels awesome!

3. Look to promote products that fulfill a need or solve a problem.

Example, in my 30 Days to Start & Grow an Ecommerce Business, I affiliate for Shopify. Not because it runs the best affiliate program, it doesn’t. Not because someone recommended it to me, although they did. But because I feel in my experience it’s the easiest and best solution for anyone wanting to start an online shop right now.

Which takes us nicely to point 4;

4. Never promote something you haven’t used yourself.

Back to my Shopify example, the biggest reason I’m promoting it, is because I have used it to build 2 stores now. I know it and I love it!

If you promote something you haven’t used yourself just because someone else tells you it’s great, you run a huge risk of alienating the audience you’ve worked so hard to build if it turns out to be rubbish. Don’t take the risk and don’t risk it for your audience either.

Always put their best interests before the potential of high payout. Long term it will pay off believe me.

5. As per Pat’s video above, create multiple ways of showcasing the product you’re promoting.

The more creative you can be, the more you’ll catch the attention of your audience, the more people you’ll help, the more money you stand to make.

6. Read Pat Flynns – Epic Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Yes it’s that good I’m recommending it twice!


Don’t be mistaken that affiliate marketing is some kind of part time side job. Choose any of the business models we’re talking about in this guide and each and every one of them takes time and work to get off the ground.

To do affiliate marketing well, it needs to be treated as a ‘real’ business model from Day 1 and given the time and attention it requires to build into your ‘ideal lifestyle’ monthly income number.

Good luck! 🙂