affiliate marketing guide

Affiliate Marketing Income: Step-by-Step Guide To Passive Income

By now you may have heard of internet bloggers, marketers and influencers talking about how much they earn through affiliate marketing income.

You've probably heard of stories of people who will tell you that their bank account had more money it after they returned from vacation than they left a week prior. They look at their income reports and it looks a little like this:

affiliate marketing income

(Image source: SmartPassiveIncome)

Too good to be true? Not in the slightest!

Entrepreneurs have been earning affiliate commissions for years how and the best part is, it's never too late to jump on board and start earning with it.

Residual Income

If you're new to online marketing, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to grow your income. In fact this is how most people start making residual income online.

Why? Because you don't have to go through the headache of any of the following:

product research, surveying the market, merchandise, storage or product shipment.

Everything is done for you!

So, if you're intrigued to learn more about what affiliate marketing is, what goes into it, how you can profit big from it, and more details most people won't tell you about, read on!

Everything you need to know about affiliate marketing is right here within this guide, I recommend you bookmark this page so you can come back to it at any time.

I've provided a quick navigation below to you can easily come back to a specific point.

According to (Wikipedia):
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 efforts.

Defined by me:
Affiliate marketing is simply a way to earn commissions from another person or company by promoting their products or services. When someone buys as a result of your marketing, you make money. As an affiliate marketer, you'll make money by connecting people with products of services.

Typically, there are four parties involved in the entire process.

1. The product creator
2. An Affiliate Network
2. The affiliate marketer
3. The end user (customer)

Although there are other avenues to affiliate marketing which leave out an affiliate network, the process we'll discuss here is most common.

The Product Creator

Usually, this is a solopreneur or company that has an idea of a product. They create the product on their own or hire a team to develop it.

Often times the product will be in a digital format, however, developing products of all kinds is possible.

If I could throw a number on it, I would say about 90% of affiliate marketers start out using an affiliate network to find and promote products.

The Affiliate Network

An affiliate network acts as a "hub" between the product creator and the affiliate marketer. Product creators upload their products to a network and affiliate marketers come here to find their products and promote them.

Why would a product creator use an affiliate network instead of just deal directly with an affiliate marketer?

This is a great question. Although it's possible to completely leave an affiliate network out of the equation, there are some perks for a product creator to use them.

Affiliate networks usually have hundreds, if not thousands of products for affiliate marketers to promote. Remember, 90% of affiliate marketers come to these networks to find a product to promote, so, with this in mind, if a product creator uses an affiliate network for their products, they have a higher chance of their products being found by affiliates to promote.

This can be very beneficial to product creators who don't have a huge list to push their products out to.

Clickbank and JVzoo are among some of the most popular affiliate networks.

clickbank affilaite marketing

(Image source: Clickbank)

Another company that has an affiliate program worth mentioning is Amazon.

Amazon has millions of products beings purchased on there website with billions in revenue and you can take your slice of the pie with their Amazon Associates program.

It's free to sign up as an affiliate and you can start promoting products immediately. Later, I'll show you an example of promoting Amazon products.

The Affiliate Marketer

Being an affiliate marketer can yield a ton of income if you do it right. The income screenshot above is an example of what people call a "super affiliate" in the marketing world. This is where someone dominates with any affiliate product they promote.

The affiliate marketer is the person who actually does the "leg-work" of marketing a product. They recommend products and get compensated for it every time someone buys as a result of their marketing efforts.

There are many different strategies to market products online, which I'll discuss in further detail a little bit later.

How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Now that we've discussed the different parties involved with affiliate marketing let's talk about how to actually start making money.

As A Product Creator

Creating a product for affiliates to promote is a very leveraged way to make an income. So, how to create a product and start making money through affiliates?

The first thing you'll need to do in come up with a product idea. I don't recommend creating a product from the first thing that comes to your head. Instead, take a look in a niche and see what is in high demand and create your product based on what the market actually wants.

Another way to come up with a product idea is to survey your list (if you have one). Ask exactly what they need help with most. Using these two methods will get you on the right track to creating a profitable product.

Creating Your Product

Here are some valuable resources for creating your first digital product:

Next, you'll need to actually create the product. There are several different ways to do this, but I'll give you an example.

Since I've already shown you a network called Clickbank, well discuss how to create your product and put it on this affiliate network.

One option for creating products is through a site called Optimizepress.

This is site that allows you to create a website (WordPress theme), landing pages, sales funnels and membership portals. Any marketer who's been online for a good amount of time has heard of them.

optmizepress affiliate marketing

(Image source: Optimizepress)

Another option to create products that's increasing in popularity is Clickfunnels. While, Optimizepress does have everything you need to create a product, their sites are not as user friendly as Clickfunnels.

Clickfunnels specializes in high converting sales funnels. They also have landing pages and membership portals.

clickfunnels affiliate marketing

(Image source: Clickfunnels)

Another website of note for creating products is Teachable.

Teachable specializes in online course creation and is a fantastic place to start. Their interface is very easy to work with for both the product creator and course students.

teachable course creation

(Image source: Teachable)

Teachable allows course creators to bring on affiliates through their platform, so we won't be using them as an example for this post.

After you create your course in either Optimizepress or Clickfunnels, you will need to integrate it with Clickbank.

(Video) Integration with Optimizepress

(Video) Integration with Clickfunnels

Congratulations! Now that you have your product on clickbank, you can bring on affiliates to promote it and start making passive income.

Income Tip: You may be excited to start making money from your affiliate's marketing efforts, but I'd be sure to compensate them well. Don't offer low commissions like 20%. 

The chances affiliate jumping on board to promote your product at such a low payout is slim to none. You want to be competitive in your payouts. Like 45-60% payout.

While this may seem high, it will attract more affiliates who will in the long run put more effort into promoting your product because you were generous with out commissions.

Attracting Affiliates To Your Product

Now that you have your product, you want to bring on as many affiliates as possible.

If you have a blog, I recommend you start making blog posts that will attract more affiliates.

Also, use other social media platforms and your email list to notify people of your product and affiliate program.

As An Affiliate Marketer

Now for the fun part and why you're probably here to begin with. There are many ways to make money as an affiliate marketer. I'm going to show you a few right now.

Sign Up With An Affiliate Program

In order to make money as an affiliate marketer you must be signed up as an affiliate.

There are many networks to get started, sign up with at least one so you can start promoting.

For this example let's say you're an affiliate with Amazon Associates.

Once you're a member of the affiliate program and logged in, when you search products on the main Amazon site, you'll have an added bar along the top that allows you to grab your affiliate link.

The example below shows a search I did for the drone called Mavic Pro.

Click on the top left you will click to get your links. A dropdown will display with your personal affiliate link. This is the link you will promote to make commissions.

amazon affiliate

Creating Product Reviews

This is a long-tested, tried and true way to make money with affiliate marketing.

The process is simple. Find a product in your niche that you can make a good review about. Create a review and incorporate a call to action to purchase the product through your link.

Of course there are many different platforms you can create your reviews on, but the first one I recommend is through a blog.

Here's an example of a review blog.

amazon affiliate

(Image source: BlenderReviews)

Notice this blog gives a call to action to find the product on Amazon. This link is an affiliate link and when someone clicks through to Amazon and makes a purchase, cha-ching!

Another way to promote affiliate products is by making video reviews on YouTube.

Don't underestimate the power of YouTube. This is the second largest search engine in the world and get loads of traffic.

Here's a great example of a review video.

youtube affiliate

(Image source: Think Media YouTube Channel)

Sean Cannel (displayed above) has done a great job with affiliate marketing on his YouTube channel Think Media TV.

Above, you'll see he's giving a list of 7 different tech gift ideas on Amazon. This is a creative way to do multiple reviews in one video and increase your potential for income.

Let's talk about the next way to make money as an affiliate marketer.

Product vs Product

Instead of creating a review about a single product or service, this method is creating a review of a product features and comparing them the features of another product.

This is a great way to drive traffic to affiliate links because people are always comparing products, looking to find which one is better.

It's also very highly targeting buyers in the marketplace. Usually, when someone is searching for "product vs product", they are in a position to buy and are looking to figure out what the best buy is.

This is where you can insert yourself to the equation by providing them with an in-depth comparison of both products.

Add your affiliate links and that's it!

Here's an example website of product vs product for affiliate marketing.

product vs product

(Image source: BlenderRepublic)

Recommend Things You Already Use

If you've already started any form of online marketing, chances are you're already using tools and resources that have an affiliate program.

Simply share with people the tools and resources that you've used or recommend.

A great way to do this is through a "Tools, Resources or Recommended" page on your website.

Put the a link to this page in the header of your website for easy access.

On this page, list out the tools and resources you recommend with affiliate links to all the products.

menu resources

6-Figure Super Affiliate Strategy

Up until this point I've shown you real ways to make money with affiliate marketing that you can literally start implementing today.

These strategies are proven to work. Hell, people are making six and even seven figures with what I've already shown you. But, now I'm going to share with you what will skyrocket your commissions. This is exactly what the millionaire affiliates are actually doing.

Let's get into the "juicy" stuff.

Build An Email List

No matter what niche you're in, one of the most important things you can do as a marketer is build an email list of subscribers.

If you plan on building a successful business online and you are not using both a capture page and an autoresponder, you are behind.

For those of you who don't have these, stop reading this post and go set them up. I've listed two of the best landing page and autoresponder services on the market here for you to get started with.

Why is building an email list so damn important? One word my friend...


When you build an email list of subscribers in a specific niche, they are interested in what you have to offer, which can be the most leveraged thing you can have in your business.

Let's say for instance, that you are brand new to affiliate marketing and you want to promote a product.

So, you find a something that you're happy to promote and believe your target audience will benefit from it and would be happy buy.

Let's also say that I pick same exact product to promote as well, only I've done the work of building an email list of thousands of people who I know are more likely to be interested in that product.

Who do you think will make more sales?

If you said the person with the bigger list, you're right.

I don't show you this to brag, but to help you understand how powerful email marketing is.

Understand that these results are a drop in the bucket to some super affiliates.

Here is a screenshot of my list and email subscribers I've personally gained over the last 30 days.

email list

Snapshot from my (Getresponse) Account

When you consistently have leads/subscribers coming into your email funnels, you'll never have to worry about running out of customers again.

So, how to you go about adding people to your list? Great question!

How To Build An Email List

In order to build your list you will need two softwares. I've mentioned them already, but I'll give you one more chance to get them if you haven't already. If you've already got these softwares, than you're good.

Once you've setup your accounts you now have the tools to start building your email list. So what comes first?

Create A Lead Magnet

Creating a lead magnet is the first and most crucial step to start generating leads and growing your business.

There are many types of lead magnets you can create to start collecting emails: Cheat sheets, guides, reports, video courses, toolkits, ebooks etc.

 Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your lead magnet:

  • It must be FREE - If you charge for your lead magnet, your conversions will dramatically decrease. Most of the time, this is because people don't know who you are at first. So, they don't trust you enough to buy a product from you. Trust me on this one, keep it FREE.
  • It must be SIMPLE - Although you may come up with 1,000 different ways to help people in your niche, the reality is they are not going to read your 10,000 page ebook or 25 hour free e-course. Make sure your lead magnet is simple, yet helpful.
  • It must be of VALUE - This is the most important part of your lead magnet. Actually put time into thinking about what your ideal client needs help with and create your lead magnet to specifically help them with this problem. Create something that you would actually charge money for, then give it away for free.
  • It must be SPECIFIC - Take the time to go deep into the mind of your ideal client. What's the one or two things they really need help with. Figure out what keeps them awake at night. What drives them? If you can create a lead magnet specifically to cater to this, your conversions will skyrocket.

How To Create Your Lead Magnet

There are many different ways to create your lead magnet, but I'm going to share with you two very simple ways to do this.


Canva is a creators dream. Their platform is simple and packs a punch.


(Image source:

Once you create an account with Canva, you will have access to tons of online digital creation tools that you can use for free.

In this case, we want to navigate to the Ebook to create our free lead magnet.

canva ebook

Once inside the Ebook section, type out your free lead magnet.

Keep in mind that you can link to other websites and tools within your lead magnet to further help your subscribers.

Income Tip: Use affiliate hyperlinks within your lead magnet to sources you recommend to increase your profits.

Once you have your lead magnet created, you can publish it right within Canva and get a unique URL for it, or download it and re-upload it elsewhere.

You can upload it straight to your website, to dropbox or host it within Clickfunnels if you're using them as your landing page service.

2. Google Docs 
So many people forget about Google resources, which is sad because it has so much to offer; one of which is their Google Docs.
google docs affiliate

(Image source: Google Docs)

Creating a document with Google Docs is very simple. Once you're logged in, simply create a new document and type out your new lead magnet.

Google docs lead magnet

Once you've finished creating your lead magnet document, you need to publish it to the internet with a specific URL. This url is what you'll be sending people to after they optin to your landing page.

You do this by clicking the share button at the top right of the document.

google docs share

After you click the share button, you will need to name your document. Give your document a name then hit save.

google docs name

The next screen you'll see is how you'll be able to share it with others. You can directly send it to people via email or get a shareable link. In this case we want to click on Get shareable link at the top right.

google doc shareable

The next screen is your final step in obtaining your shareable link.

google docs link

This is the URL you will copy and send people after they optin to your lead magnet. And that's it, you've created your lead magnet.

Still reading? Bookmark this page so you can come back. 🙂

Create A Capture Page

Now that you've created your lead magnet, you need a way to present it online and capture leads. You'll do this with a lead capture page.

A capture page has many names:

  • Capture page
  • Landing page
  • Lead page
  • Squeeze page

So many different names, but it has one purpose. To collect emails.

There are many different platforms to create a capture page with, take your pick.

Once you've completed your capture page with your chosen software, you will integrate your email software with your landing page.

This is necessary to deliver your lead magnet via email, which brings us to the next point and a very important one at that.

Automate Your Business

Let's talk about how to leverage automation in your business. This allows you to leverage technology to grow your business in your sleep.

Passive income

Those stories you hear about people waking up to money in their bank account are true, and you can do the same thing in your business.

How does this work? With email automation.

You will set this up with an email autoresponder. An autoresponder allows you to deliver your lead magnet automatically to your subscribers and follow-up with them through automation sequences.

Now, you can alter what emails you send to people based on their specific actions. So, if they didn't open the email for your lead magnet, you can send just those specific people a tailored email to remind them of the free gift you've have for them.

Setting up these tailored emails is called a workflow.

You can be even more specific and send emails based on whether or not someone has clicked a link inside a specific email, which is shown in the video below. 

And remember, all this is automated. Very powerful.

Try Getresponse Here

The Secret Sauce To Go Full-Time

What are the 6 and even 7 figure earners doing to create such massive success, and how can you do the same in your business? 

That's what I'm going to share with you right now! So pay close attention.

Build A Brand - Even If You're Brand New

No matter what niche you're in, you'll find that the top affiliates build a brand. But, what goes into building a brand and why would you want to do this?

Building a brand means people will trust you. They see you as an authority in your niche and as the "go-to" person for information on a given topic.

If you're just starting out and feel that you can't do this, keep reading, because I'm going to share with the secret to growing your brand, even if your brand new.

Step 1. - Identify Your Strengths

What are you good at right now? This is very important to figure out because you're going to leverage this to grow your brand faster.

Not doing this one thing is one of the most common mistakes people make in growing any online business. They focus on strengthening their weaknesses and start marketing based on their weaknesses. This is stupid. Let me explain...

If you had a successful business and were about to launch a big product and needed to find someone to be in a video commercial for your new product, how would you find them?

You would probably hire someone for the job who excels at being on camera, would you not?

An actor or an actress. Why?

Because they are good at what they do.

Now, let's take it back to growing your brand.

harness your strengths

If you suck at being on camera, you don't want to start shooting YouTube videos as your primary method of growing your brand; like I said, that would be stupid.

In no way am I saying you shouldn't work on your weaknesses, you absolutely should, but if you're treating your brand like business, you don't want to use your weaknesses as your number one marketing method. Harness your strengths!

If you're treating your brand like a business, don't use your weaknesses as your marketing method.

Click to Tweet

Use your strengths to grow your brand!

If you are great in front of camera, by all means, film away, but if you're better at written communication, start a blog or find forums to contribute to. 

When you identify your strengths and leverage them to grow your brand, you are setting yourself up for creating success much faster, unlike those who use their weaknesses as a source to build their brand.

Step 2. Inundate The Market With Value

This is the secret sauce to making a name for your brand as a nobody. Start pumping out as much helpful information into the marketplace as you possibly can, and trust me, you will get a response.

Don't use the excuse "I don't have value to give". Even if you're starting out brand new, simply go learn some helpful information and share that information with the marketplace with your own flare.

Don't think this works? It does. This is exactly how I've grown my business to where it is today and I've seen plenty of other people do the same thing.

Here's one thing you must remember when building your brand.

You are your brand.

Even if the same exact information exists out on the internet, some people will find more value from it when it's being shared by you. So, don't deprive them of getting information from you. If you didn't know it yet, there's a huge audience waiting to hear your voice, all you have to do is speak.

So, go learn something and turn right around and teach what you've learned to others. Repeat this process, getting better and better every day and trust me, you'll gain traction.

High Ticket Affiliate Programs

While promoting low ticket products through affiliate networks can create a good amount of passive affiliate income, high ticket affiliate programs puts this on steroids.

What Is High Ticket Affiliate Marketing?

Through this post you've learned all about affiliate marketing; what it is, how to get started with it and how to make money with it.

Now, let's talk about high ticket affiliate marketing. While making some money through affiliate networks like Clickbank or Amazon associates is nice, high ticket affiliate marketing programs are a different story.

high ticket affiliate programs

High ticket affiliate marketing is where you can earn $500 or more in commissions per sale. Many times high ticket affiliate programs allow you to make between $1,000 - $10,000 in commissions per sale.

Your job as an affiliate of a high ticket program is no different than that of a normal affiliate offer. Your job is to connect products with people, but with a high ticket program, the payout on the backend can be in the thousands, and that's just for one customer.

How To Make Money With High Ticket Affiliate Programs

As an affiliate of a high ticket program, you will be responsible for acquiring a new customer. This involves you marketing either pre-made sales funnels that the program has put together for you, or coming up with your own lead magnet, which you should be able to create from reading this post.

Either way, on the front end you'll be marketing a low ticket front end offer.

This will be anywhere from $1-$37 dollars. The only point of the front end offer is to acquire a new customer.

If you're spending money on ads to obtain these new customers, understand that the objective is not to break even on these low ticket front end offers. In fact, you will more than likely be in the negative on the front end, and that's okay.

All the money is made in the back-end with high ticket affiliate programs. Why? Because you will have products that your customers can purchase paying you handsomely, anywhere from $500-$10,000 per sale. 

This is powerful. Now you don't need to have 100 customers buying a $50 product every month to make a full-time living from your affiliate commissions.

Just one customer purchasing a high ticket product per month can create a 6-figure income for you.

Leverage With High Ticket Programs

One of the biggest reasons people fail with online marketing and affiliate marketing is lack of education. Good high ticket programs have educational platforms built-in to teach their members how to effectively market their products online to make more money.

These companies actually want to help you become rich!

Why? Because, remember, you are an affiliate of these programs, which means the more money you make, the more money you make them.

So, it's in their own best interest that they do everything they can to help their members make as much money as possible.

One-On-One Coaching

A good high ticket program will provide their members with a one-on-one coach to guide them through the process of setting up and marketing their own high ticket affiliate business.

Closing Sales For You

As I'm typing this out it seems like these types of programs are too good to be true, but they are in fact real. And, good programs will not only provide you with a coach, but they also have a sales force close sales for you over the phone.

In my own experience, I've actually had this happen to me. I was sleeping and woke up to hundreds of dollars in commissions. Did I make the sale? Nope! All I did was previously acquire the customer. The program had someone close the sales for me, while I received a nice big fat commissions check, even while I was sleeping.


Let's go over what you've learned about affiliate marketing.

There are 4 parties involved in the affiliate marketing process.

    1. The product creator

    2. The affiliate network

    3. The affiliate marketer

    4. The end user (customer)

You also learned how to make money with affiliate marketing:

    As a product creator.

    As an affiliate marketer.

You learned the 6-figure super affiliate strategy:

    1. Build an email list

    2. Capture leads

    3. Automate your business

You learned the secret sauce to go full-time:

    1. Build a brand - even if your brand new

    2. Identify your strengths (and leverage them)

    3. inundate the market with value

Lastly, you learned about high ticket affiliate programs:

    1. How to make money with high ticket affiliate programs

    2. How to leverage high ticket programs

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make additional income, or make a full-time living.

Over to you!

Let me know your thoughts or suggestions in the comments below.

And if you liked it, Share it!

All the best,

P.S. Subscribe to me on YouTube for more great content

About The Author

  • Nathan Lucas says:

    Hi Marlon,
    I’m glad you got value. Thanks for stopping by the blog. 🙂

  • AHMAD ROBANI says:


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