Today, we will learn how to start affiliate marketing, including what it is, what it isn’t, and what you can expect when you get started.

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll know why companies pay affiliates handsomely for sending traffic to them, how to start affiliate marketing by finding the right affiliate programs and offers that you can promote, and how to cash out by promoting other people’s products.

The beauty of being an affiliate is that most of the overhead in building a business is taken care of for you – you send traffic, and you get paid a portion of all the sales resulting from that traffic.

It’s a beautiful model, and one I know very well since it’s how I got my start!

How To Start Affiliate Marketing?

When it comes to making money online, there are two different ways you can go about it. You can either:

  1. Sell somebody else’s products or services
  2. Sell your products and services

Affiliate marketing is best described as Selling Other People’s Stuff.

Being an affiliate or selling somebody else’s products is much easier overall.  When you promote another product or another company, they do all the hard work.  They write the sales copy, and they maintain their effect.  They do customer service and merchant processing

And you, as an affiliate, get a check in the mail!

For you, it’s pretty hands-off.  You promote a product online and get paid!

How To Promote Affiliate Products

There are many ways to promote affiliate products, some more difficult than others.  For this tutorial, because almost everyone reading it is a Scriptly member, we will concentrate on one of the easiest and most profitable ways of getting started…

Email marketing.

To start affiliate marketing with email, all you have to do to promote an affiliate product is send an email to your list…  Some people will open your email. Of those, some click on your affiliate link. And, of those, some will buy the product!

When someone buys the product, you get paid your affiliate commission!

Before we begin the process, let’s discuss why a company will pay an affiliate like you and me.

There are details for eight done-for-you Email campaigns for affiliates inside Scriptly - make sure to check them out!

Why Do Companies Pay Affiliates?

The simple explanation of how to start affiliate marketing – i.e., how to get paid – is that people and companies spend millions of dollars daily on folks like you and me to help them sell their products and services online.

These companies are innovative.

They know that the Internet is a prominent place, and it’s way easier to pay you to recommend their products to your friends, family, and social followers than to market themselves.

Plus, they know that your recommendation about their products means a lot more than their advertising, and they’ll sell more if they can incentivize you to make that recommendation!

Think of it this way.

You recommend a good restaurant to a friend.  Your friend dines at that restaurant, spending $100 on himself and his family there.  If they participated in an affiliate marketing campaign, the restaurant would send you a percentage, say 20%.

So that would be $20 in your pocket.

The same thing happens online, only it’s all tracked through affiliate networks!  You send a friend (AKA a lead) to a company.  Your lead buys.  You get paid!

Here are a couple of typical affiliate marketing scenarios that you’ll see time and time again online:

  • You recommend a TV on, using a special link. If somebody actually clicks that link and buys the TV you get paid.
  • You can recommend an e-book for sale on, and if someone buys it, you get paid.
  • You recommend the audiobook service,, to a friend on Facebook.  Your friend signs up for their trial program and you make $25.

Best yet, you don’t need to worry about any tracking!  Affiliate networks take care of everything for you; you collect a check!

When looking into how to start affiliate marketing, you’ll find many affiliate networks online that’ll let you promote stuff for a commission, but the one we like the best is Clickbank.

Aside from offering commissions up to 75% of the purchase price, Clickbank features some of the best digital products in the world that solve real-world, everyday problems!

Getting Started On Clickbank

For those who don’t know about Clickbank, it’s one of the world’s leading digital product marketplaces.  You’ll find ebooks, video courses, membership sites, etc., on there.  Every once in a while, you’ll also see physical products there.


Clickbank’s true power is bringing affiliates and product owners together.  It’s usually the first place people learn how to start affiliate marketing.

People who want to sell their ebooks list them for sale in Clickbank.  Affiliates like us can help promote those ebooks.  Clickbank processes the deal and makes sure everyone is paid.

It’s a beautiful model, and it works very well.

As an affiliate, commissions are usually 50-75% of the total product price. Each product has an affiliate link you use with your ClickBank account that tracks clicks and sales.

You also get bi-weekly or weekly payments to treat it like a paycheck from a job!  That’s actually how I made the transition when I started.

As soon as my weekly check from Clickbank passed that of my day job for three months, I quit 0) (Of course, I didn’t want to leave too early…)

Now, if you already have a Clickbank account, fantastic!  Clickbank is the way to go if you’re new and looking to start affiliate marketing. Sign up for a Clickbank account here:

Click here to set up a Clickbank account >>

What To Promote In Clickbank

Inside Clickbank are thousands of products you can promote in almost every niche or category you can imagine…

What to promote? How do I find people who will buy these products? How do I know that this one will convert?

There are lots and lots of questions that you’ll be asking yourself as you start getting into Clickbank… The most helpful advice I can share, though, is this:

Choose a niche that you’re interested in.

The most successful marketers in the world find something they’re passionate about and build their entire list around that topic.

The beautiful thing about Clickbank is you can find 10 or 12 different things you can sell to your audience without creating any of them!

What we do in niches is find something we enjoy, like woodworking. To see all of the products on woodworking, go to the Clickbank marketplace.

On the left, you can start filtering through categories:

Unfortunately, woodworking products are scattered around Clickbank; I will use The search tool here…

When you enter your search, like ‘wood,’ you’ll get some pretty crazy results. The default search doesn’t sort well and certainly doesn’t tell us how well a product sells!

So, we’re going to click on ‘Advanced Search.’

From there, you’ll see the advanced search screen.

There are two things that you’ll want to enter:

  1. The search keyword (of course!)
  2. Filter for a Gravity Score of above 20

The Gravity score in Clickbank is an algorithmic number, meaning it’s a score given to a product based on how many sales are made, how many affiliates are successfully promoting, and how many refunds the product owner is getting.

There are probably many other variables associated with the Gravity score, but the simple explanation is that the higher, the better.

I generally filter out all products with a Gravity score below 20. If something is below 20, it’s not a good fit for our email list – the sales volume is too low, and the sales copy hasn’t been fully split-tested yet.

Returning to the Woodworking example, after filtering based on Gravity, we get these products we can promote…

Now, of the four products there, one isn’t a fit… It looks like a muscle-building offer, so we’ll omit that one.

When learning how to start affiliate marketing, we need more depth for our affiliate sequence to search for different products. Here’s what comes up: we search for ‘plans.’

Not all of these will be a fit, but it’s reasonable to assume that if someone is looking for woodworking projects, they might be interested in building a shed or a boat, too!

Now, put together a list of 10 or 12 affiliate products you want to promote and get your affiliate link for each one of those products.

How To Start Affiliate Marketing: Getting Your Affiliate Link

To get your affiliate link, go to any product in Clickbank and hit “Promote.”

Then, enter your Clickbank ID (1) and a tracking link (2) on the screen that pops up optionally.

From there, you’ll get your affiliate link:

That’s the link you’ll use in your email promotions, so keep it safe. You’ll use that link wherever you want to promote the affiliate product.

NOTE: Inside Scriptly, we find your best affiliate products by niche. Plus, we make it super easy to get your affiliate links! Just fill in a short form, and we’ll create 45+ days’ worth of email copy for you! Click here to get started.

What To Do With Your Affiliate Links

Now, you know which products you will promote, and you have your affiliate links… What’s next?

Well, the next thing you will need to do is write emails promoting your affiliate products or set up a Scriptly account and choose from one of the Done For You Email Campaigns for Affiliates.  That’s the fastest way to learn how to start affiliate marketing.

Usually, we set these up inside the autoresponder part of our email marketing platform. That way, when someone opts in through a landing page or a list-building plugin, they go through a promotional sequence set up from beginning to end.

Typically, we’ll set up between 10 and 12 products, with 3 and 5 emails promoting each. That gives almost two full months of marketing, all done for you.

Scriptly handles all of the emails for you and follows this process for promoting products:

Once someone opts into our list, they go from product promotion to product promotion, following an automated sequence. You can add bonding emails in the middle by sending links to YouTube videos or blog posts.

At the end of the day, though, we want someone to opt in and buy some of the affiliate products so that we can get paid!

Now, if we can help clear up any confusion on how to start affiliate marketing and setting up an affiliate funnel that’ll get you paid, please let us know by scheduling a strategy session with us!  We’re happy to help.