Earn Money Online

Can Beginners Make Money with Affiliate Marketing? (If so, How Much?)

Affiliate marketing is a beneficial partnership between companies and digital content creators. Even beginners can make money with affiliate marketing from home with a small website!

If you’ve spent even a few days on online spaces such as YouTube and Pinterest researching how to make extra income online, you’ve heard about affiliate marketing. But how does affiliate marketing work? Is affiliate marketing worth it? Can beginners make money with affiliate marketing? How much money?

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Before we get started, here are some article highlights:

➡️ 80% of brands use Affiliate Marketing to generate leads.

➡️ Affiliate Marketing is a 12 billion dollar industry.

➡️ Affiliate Programs can pay $0.10 to $400+ commission per sale.

➡️ The Gender Breakdown for Affiliate Marketers in the US is 75.2% Female and 23.9% Male. 0.9% prefer to self-identify.

➡️ The average annual salary for an Affiliate Marketer is $52,750.

➡️ Affiliate Programs contribute 30% of revenue to companies.

➡️ Blogging is the easiest and fastest way for beginners to make money with affiliate marketing.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Affiliate marketing is a circular force where the affiliate marketer recommends a product or service to their audience and earns a commission when a purchase is made through their recommendation.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

When a digital content creator becomes an affiliate partner of a company or brand, they get a specific track link to share with their audience.

When a customer makes a purchase through this link, the affiliate marketer receives a commission.

Most Affiliate Programs have cookies that last from 15 to 90 days. But some programs even have cookies that last 365 days! Thus, if a potential customer clicks on your affiliate link and doesn’t make any purchases, you will still receive the commission if the customer purchases days or months later!

Affiliate Marketing Highlights

Most affiliate marketers have websites, YouTube channels, or a huge following on social media that allows them to earn and nurture the trust of their audience. 

Each of these communication platforms has its own particularities. However, websites and blogs are the most effective way for beginners to make money with affiliate marketing because of the nature of sites and blogs that do not require a large audience to generate leads.

How do content creators and website owners partner with companies or merchants in affiliate partnerships?

Most companies that provide affiliate programs have an ‘Affiliates’ option, usually in the bottom menu of their websites.

Interested parties can click and be redirected to a page with a form. These forms usually require a full name, website, professional email (@ your domain name, i.e., ‘yourname@yourwebsite.com’), country and address, website language, and sometimes information about why your audience and the product provided can benefit from each other.

A few rare exceptions only require a login email and password.

How to apply to affiliate programs. This is PromRepublic's Affiliate Program Signup Form.
PromRepublic’s Affiliate Program signup form.

After being accepted, the affiliate marketer will have to fill in more information regarding commission payments. Most companies pay via PayPal or bank deposit. Likewise, you can use Payoneer to receive bank deposits in other countries and then transfer them to your local bank account.

Also, it’s usually required to fill out a legal digital form related to paying taxes.

In addition to companies that provide affiliate application forms on their own websites, many platforms allow you to connect your website with hundreds of companies that offer affiliate programs, such as ShareASale and CJ Affiliate.

Is affiliate marketing worth it?

For companies, brands, and merchants

Industry data shows that 80% of brands use affiliate marketing to generate leads. In addition, affiliate programs contribute 30% of revenue to companies.

But why do affiliate marketers have the power to impact 30% of companies’ revenue?

Consumer survey data revealed that only 47% of the audience trust traditional ads!

Going deeper, survey respondents specified ‘online reviews’ (76%), ‘websites’ (67%), ‘videos’ (63%) and ‘online bloggers’ (55%) among their sources of trust when making a purchase.

For companies, denying the contribution of affiliate marketers would mean compromising 53% of potential customers!

Even beginners can make money with affiliate marketing because affiliate marketers have more power of influence than traditional ads.
Source: Experticity.

Beginners can make money with affiliate marketing because the most worthwhile specialty in this industry is the power of communication and influence.

But that is not all.

Affiliate marketing is also worthy for companies, brands, and merchants because they get hundreds of ambassadors dedicated to promoting their products and services for free

Of course, it’s not really free.

When the affiliate marketer makes a sale, the company or merchant pays them a commission agreed upon beforehand. However, merchants only pay after a sale has been made, or a lead has been generated, unlike traditional ads that require a substantial investment without any guarantee of return. 

Not surprisingly, more and more companies are launching affiliate programs.

For bloggers, influencers, and digital content creators

Affiliate marketing is worthy for affiliate marketers because they make sales and earn a salary without worrying about inventories, customer support, exchanges and refunds, and all the logistics and administration involved in being a service provider or merchant.

Even beginners can make money from affiliate marketing with a new blog and a small audience. As the research mentioned above proves, for customers, the opinion of bloggers and content creators generates much more confidence when making a purchase than traditional ads.

Can beginners really make money as affiliate marketers?

Beginners can make money from affiliate marketing as they are a valuable marketing force for companies and merchants of all sizes.

Absolutely anyone can make money from affiliate marketing, including beginners. But succeeding as an affiliate marketer doesn’t happen overnight. Before you start monetizing an affiliate marketing business, you need to build an audience that genuinely trusts your content.

If you already have an audience as a blogger, YouTuber, or influencer, you can start affiliate marketing right away!

But keep in mind, however, that having an audience is not synonymous with having an audience that converts

Your current audience may be good at engaging with you and providing feedback — but terrible as customers. And although it’s not always the case, often it is.

Many factors can influence your audience not converting such as, but not limited to:

  • Your audience is not interested in the affiliate products and services you chose to promote. Making wiser choices when picking affiliate programs can solve the problem.
  • Your audience is too young and has no purchasing power yet.
  • You don’t know how to be helpful when communicating to your audience why the products or services you are promoting may be beneficial in their lives. Instead, you are literally telling them: ‘buy it because I’m telling you to’. People tend not to like it.

Now, if you’re going to start from scratch, learning how to build and nurture an audience is your first task.

Also, awareness of which platform has the best format for you to communicate better is vital to making money with affiliate marketing as a beginner. I.e., some people know that their forte is communicating through writing, while others prefer video format. 

Furthermore, growing a blog through an SEO strategy and growing a YouTube channel bypassing the platform’s algorithm are skills that belong to completely different worlds. So consider that too.

Is affiliate marketing still profitable in 2024?

Affiliate marketing, which started out as just another strategy to promote products and services to the public, has become an entire industry.

Statistics show that affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry, actually.

Affiliate marketing statistics from BloggingX reveal that the industry is currently estimated to be worth $12 billion. This trend is additional proof that affiliate marketing is becoming a massive global industry.

With customers becoming increasingly suspicious of traditional ads, the opinion of bloggers, YouTubers, and other digital influencers becomes the way to go.

Thanks to this phenomenon:

  • More brands and companies need affiliate marketers to promote their products and services.
  • Digital content creators in droves are turning affiliate marketing into their main source of income.
  • Affiliate marketing is growing more and more as a circular industry with extremely low investment risk and high profit potential for all parties involved.

Hence, even beginners can make money with affiliate marketing because even those with a small audience have the power to influence within that environment.

For beginners to make money with affiliate marketing, they need to have power to influence their audience.

How much can you earn from affiliate marketing?

If you’re wondering:

  • How much do affiliate marketers get paid?
  • Can you make a living off affiliate marketing?
  • How much can you make a month with affiliate marketing?

The news is all good for you.

According to PayScale, the average annual salary of affiliate marketers in the US is $52,750, the Gender Breakdown being 75.2% Female and 23.9% Male (while 0.9% prefer to self-identify). Thus, affiliate marketers, on average, make around $4,395 a month from affiliate marketing.

Depending on where you live, with $1,500 you can easily pay rent.

But the good news doesn’t end there!

In affiliate marketing, you can always raise your salary.

There is no shortage of ways to increase your salary in the affiliate marketing industry. Here are some commonly used strategies:

  • Create another website to promote different products to another audience
  • Partner with more brands to promote a wider product catalog (most affiliate marketers only work with 1-10 products)
  • Moving to a more profitable niche with higher commissions and a higher conversion rate
  • Expand your content to other platforms to reach a wider audience.

Also, successful affiliate marketers always have a stable platform to share their content, usually a website or blog, which they also monetize in other ways. 

This is precisely why affiliate marketers who are also bloggers, for example, have multiple income streams, allowing them to earn more than $10k per month.

Blogging, moreover, is the best way for beginners to make money with affiliate marketing.

How much do affiliate marketers make per sale?

How much affiliate marketers make per sale depends on variables such as:

  • Affiliate program agreement (may have higher paid amounts if many sales are made in the same month)
  • Niche
  • The base price of the product sold
  • If the service sold involves periodic subscriptions or memberships
  • Whether the affiliate program pays fixed amounts per sale or percentages of the value of the product or service
  • Etc.

To give you a specific example, check this overview of two different affiliate programs: Amazon Associates and Elementor PRO.

Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates, the affiliate program of the giant Amazon, pays 1.00%-20.00% of the value of the product sold depending on the category, but also fixed amounts from $3 to $5 for exclusive Amazon services like Amazon Prime.

That is, through your affiliate links, if you sell physical books that cost around $10 and whose commission rate is 5.50%, the paid commission will be $0.55. 

On the other hand, if you sell a laptop priced at $1000, whose category is ‘Electronics’ and the commission rate is 5.00%, the profit will be $50. Much better, huh?

Elementor PRO

Elementor is a drag-and-drop website builder. With Elementor, it’s easy to design beautiful WordPress websites and blogs without any need to learn how to code or hire a professional.

Elementor PRO has five packages ranging from $49 to $999. Their affiliate program pays 50% of the product value! 

Thus, affiliate marketers who participate in the Elementor PRO affiliate program earn from $24.50 to $499.50 per sale!

As you can clearly see by the examples above, how much the affiliate marketer makes per sale varies hugely from program to program.

Beginners looking to make money from affiliate marketing should choose affiliate programs with higher commission rates, so they don’t have to make a lot of sales to earn a good monthly salary.

Math doesn’t lie: if you participate in an affiliate program that pays $50 per sale in commission, with just 100 monthly sales, you can make $5k monthly!

Whereas with a $0.50 commission, you would have to make 10,000 sales (!) to make $5k monthly. This is almost an impossible challenge for a beginner! 😐

How much traffic do you need for affiliate marketing?

Beginners don’t need massive traffic to make money with affiliate marketing. They need quality traffic.

What seems obvious is not always the best solution. Of course, getting 100,000 quality monthly visits is a feat! Surely, the profit possibilities are incredible! But what happens when you get 100,000 monthly visits from people who aren’t actually interested in your content?

When it comes to affiliate marketing, you have to prioritize getting quality traffic over thousands of monthly visits that do not convert into anything.

Quality traffic is formed by an audience that considers your content genuinely helpful and is able to purchase your recommendations.

When you have quality traffic, you have an audience that genuinely finds your content helpful and inspiring, and is willing to take action based on your content.

A small but concentrated group of people who care about what you do is worth more than a high and fancy number that has no value.

Let’s say you promote some affiliate products whose commissions are $50 and have 5,000 monthly visits. With a conversion rate of only 2%, you will make 100 monthly sales — and your affiliate marketer salary will be $5k a month and $60k a year.

That’s quality traffic.

Is affiliate marketing 100% passive income?

Many people have an inaccurate idea of what passive income means. It’s understandable. With so many click-baiting headlines titled ‘make money while you sleep’, there’s no way to blame those who think that passive income is, well, really passive.

In fact, making money from affiliate marketing can be considered passive income, but only after you’ve worked really hard.

Let me explain. For example, let’s say you have an affiliate website and you work hard during a week writing a heavily SEO-optimized article comparing several similar products from different brands.

Once published, however, if your article is really helpful, you can continue to generate sales every month through this article for years and years to come.

Hence the idea of passive income. But is that really passive? 

Yes and no. 

There’s nothing passive about writing a heavily SEO-optimized article for a week. However, after the article is finished, you don’t need to do anything else (except maybe update it every year) to continue profiting from this article. And this is passive income.

So affiliate marketing becomes passive income over time, but not unless you’ve worked hard before. That is, it is not 100% passive.

Is affiliate marketing easy?

If you are looking for an easy way to make money online, affiliate marketing is not the best option for you.

To succeed as an affiliate marketer, communicating well with your audience is the most critical skill. However, building a stable, loyal, and sustainable audience takes a lot of hard work.

Beginners can make money with affiliate marketing, but it takes effort to create quality content to attract and retain an audience.

It’s not like someone is going to buy the products and services of affiliate partners you recommend just because you say ‘buy this, buy that’. 

Before that, you need to provide enough quality content without getting anything in return to gain the public’s trust.

And that’s not easy. This requires a lot of effort and commitment on your part. But if you are able to put your best content out there and always seek to improve your skills, you will be able to make money from affiliate marketing, even as a beginner.

What is the fastest way to make money with affiliate marketing?

I understand it’s hard to be patient, but affiliate marketing is no get-rich-quick scheme. Moreover, any proposals you receive on making money online that seem too fast and easy are probably trying to get you scammed. And if they require you to invest large amounts of money, run!

If you want to build a sustainable business, you have to commit to it for the long run.

That being said, there are ways to speed up the process.

How beginners can make money with affiliate marketing faster

Beginner or expert, to make money with affiliate marketing, you need a platform to build and nurture the trust of an audience. Without an audience, forget it! You can’t make money with affiliate marketing.

Here are the top platforms for building an audience as an affiliate marketer:

  • Social networks
  • YouTube
  • Blogs & websites

Social networks: require you to create content daily in various formats, engage on the platform daily through comments and likes, and pay for ads to gain followers. Also, even after getting followers, you have to fight the algorithm daily so that your followers continue to see your content.

YouTube: It’s not hard to find YouTubers reporting a period of 1.5 to 2 years to reach 1000 subscribers on their YouTube channels. But for that, you need to upload content consistently. Video content is labor-intensive to create and requires you to expose your persona and never stop dealing with the algorithm.

Blogs & Websites: Blogging is also hard work. However, by writing just two 2 blog posts a week, in 18 months, you will have 144 articles published. With 144 blog posts, you can expect organic (free and stable) traffic of 72,000-100,000 monthly pageviews. With that traffic and a conversion rate of as little as 0.5%, you can make 360-500 sales of affiliate products and services per month.

Clearly, blogs and websites are the fastest way to make money with affiliate marketing as a beginner.

Also, when you write quality articles for a blog, the audience finds you through their own interests and needs. That’s why you need to write heavily SEO-optimized blog posts so that your articles have visibility in search engines.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of improving the content of a blog or website in order to increase visibility in search engines and enhance organic (free) traffic.

When you try to grow an audience through social media, on the other hand, you constantly need to chase the audience and fight the platform algorithm. 

In the case of YouTube, although you can be found in searches, the battle against the algorithm is no less fierce.

That’s why blogging is the best way for beginners who want to make money with affiliate marketing.

How to start an affiliate website to make money with affiliate marketing as a beginner

Can Beginners Make Money with Affiliate Marketing


Always be suspicious when some internet guru suggests that you have to invest hundreds of dollars to become a successful affiliate marketer.

I am not against online education. Quite the opposite! I often take online courses to develop many of my skills.

But when a pseudo course charges you hundreds or even a few thousand dollars, promising you that in two months you will learn how to become a millionaire next year, be as suspicious as a person can be!

There are only two things that can make you a millionaire overnight without demanding any effort on your part: winning the lottery or receiving an inheritance.

As you see, affiliate marketing is not one of them. So be conscious when spending your hard-earned money.

There are only five things you need to invest in to start an affiliate website and make money with affiliate marketing as a beginner:

  • A Domain Name + Domain Privacy
  • An email @ your Domain Name
  • A Self-hosted WordPress Blog or Website
  • Learning SEO to get free, organic traffic
  • Learning how to write helpful blog posts that convert

A domain name, domain privacy, an email @ your domain name, and WordPress hosting are often sold separately. 

But if you sign up for DreamHost’s Shared Unlimited Plan, you get: 

  • Quality WordPress hosting
  • Unlimited emails @ your domain name
  • Free domain name 
  • Free domain privacy 
  • All of the above and much more for just $35.40/year!

(Promotional pricing is only available on annual plans.)

What is DreamHost?

DreamHost is a Los Angeles-based web hosting provider and domain name registrar. DreamHost has 20+ years of experience hosting over 1.5 million websites, blogs, and online stores. On top of all that, DreamHost is officially recommended by WordPress.org itself.

What is DreamHost and What Makes DreamHost Different

How to sign up for DreamHost

How to start a WordPress blog with no technical experience with DreamHost Shared Unlimited plan

But don’t forget to choose the ‘Shared Unlimited’ YEARLY plan instead of the ‘Shared Starter’.

Both cost the same for their first year, but only ‘Shared Unlimited’ comes with unlimited emails @ your domain. (Remember that many affiliate marketing platforms only accept affiliate marketers who have a professional email?)

Pick your DreamHost yearly Shared plan

In the ‘Shared Starter’ plan, you have to pay separately to have an email address @ your domain name.

In addition, the ‘Shared Unlimited’ plan comes with:

  • Free SSL Certificate pre-installed
  • Unlimited Site Storage
  • Unlimited subdomains
  • Free SSL Certificate pre-installed
  • Unlimited FTP/SFTP/Shell Users & MySQL Databases
  • And much more!

Step #2 — Choose a FREE Domain Name (comes with FREE Domain Privacy as well)

If you still haven’t decided which domain name to choose, you can pick your FREE domain name later!

(Also, you can check this article for more information on domain privacy: The ultimate guide to domain privacy: why do you need WHOIS privacy?)

Choose your free domain name plus free domain privacy that comes with all DreamHost annual plans

Step #3 (Final) — Secure Checkout

Enter a credit card or PayPal account to complete your Shared Unlimited Plan purchase for just $35.40/year with no extra hidden fees!

DreamHost checkout page


You just made one of the best investments of your life! Now you have a website to make money with affiliate marketing as a beginner.

Now you have to set up your blog and optimize it so that you can monetize it with affiliate marketing and other monetization methods that might interest you.

How about learning SEO and how to write blog posts that convert?

While there are plenty of available courses on SEO and blog writing, the most important information you need to know is available for free. You just need to invest your time to study and put what you’ve learned into practice.

Start with these articles and step-by-step guides:

So, are you ready to make money from affiliate marketing even as a beginner? Follow the information in this article and work hard and you’ll be able to get there! I wish you all the luck!

DreamHost offers the best web hosting plans for begginers and large audience websites

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Published on May 27, 2022. Last updated on December 8, 2023.

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