How to Do Affiliate Marketing (2023 Guide with Steps + Affiliate Programs)

Picture this: There are talks of another wave of layoffs in your organization, but you’re not as worried as your colleagues. You know that you can get by with another source of income that you’ve been doing for a while now — promoting products and services you love and believe in.

How do you make this happen?

Affiliate marketing is a great way to turn your product recommendations into a steady income stream. And the best part? You don’t need to start a new business or invest cash upfront.

Keep reading as we guide you through an affiliate strategy in 2023. We’ll cover everything from how to do affiliate marketing to finding your niche to strategies for driving traffic to your affiliate website.

You’ll also gain valuable insights and best practices to set you up as a successful affiliate marketer. Plus, we’ll share the top affiliate marketing campaigns and programs for beginners this year.

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What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a partnership between you (the affiliate) and a company or brand (the merchant). As an affiliate marketer, you help promote their products through your website, blog, podcast, YouTube, or social media platforms.

Affiliate marketing is a win-win situation for you and your audience. You earn money for your efforts, and your audience benefits from your honest recommendations. It also allows you to make your passion or online presence a source of income while helping your readers and followers discover great products and services.

The best part is you can join most affiliate programs for free. You don’t have to worry about spending money to get started. 

By developing a sound marketing plan and partnering with trustworthy affiliate network marketing partners, you can establish a lucrative online side business that generates a dependable and substantial passive income.

How affiliate marketing program works

Let’s say you’re a fitness enthusiast with a popular health and wellness blog. You’ve decided to become an affiliate for a workout gear brand that you genuinely love. 

As you create content for your blog or affiliate site, you talk about the brand’s high-quality products, durability, and how they’ve helped you in your fitness journey. You can also provide a unique affiliate link to direct readers to the brand’s website whenever you mention one of its affiliate products. If a reader clicks on the link and buys the affiliate product, you earn a commission on the affiliate sales. 

Is affiliate marketing still worth it in 2023? 

Affiliate marketing remains a worthwhile pursuit in 2023.

In 2010, the annual spending on affiliate marketing in the U.S. was $1.6 billion. Twelve years later, in 2022, it reached an impressive $8.2 billion. Furthermore, spending on affiliate marketing in the U.S. is predicted to grow by $14.3 Billion in 2023 globally and $15.7 Billion by 2024. 

These figures demonstrate the continued growth and significance of affiliate marketing, making it a highly lucrative pursuit if you’re looking for another source of income. 

How much do affiliate marketers make? 

Affiliate marketing income can vary, but survey data by the Influencer Marketing Hub reveals that:

  • a small percentage (3.78 percent) earn over $150,000 annually
  • 7.94 percent earn $100,000 to $150,000
  • 5.15 percent earn $50,000 to $100,000

The survey also highlighted that most affiliates (57.55 percent) earn below $10,000. “That’s not great. Certainly not enough to live on in most countries. But I believe this is because most survey respondents don’t do affiliate marketing full time,” shares Bill Widmer, a content marketer and SEO consultant. 

Affiliate marketer earnings can also vary significantly based on various factors such as niche, affiliate programs, type of affiliate campaigns, strategies, and efforts. 

6 steps to run a successful affiliate marketing business in 2023 

Now that you know how affiliate marketing works and the potential income you can earn, let’s look into the steps to start affiliate marketing in 2023. Use this 6-step affiliate marketing strategy framework to build your own.

Step 1: Decide on your affiliate niche

The first step is to determine your area of focus. Take some time to think about your passions and interests.

What really excites you? As an affiliate marketer, choose a niche that aligns with your knowledge and expertise for your affiliate marketing work, whether it’s food, fitness, or technology.

This will enable you to create high-quality content and share your insights with others. For example, if you love to travel, consider specializing in adventure travel, budget travel tips, or luxury vacation experiences.

Step 2: Pick the right affiliate program for you

Look for programs that align with your niche and offer customized products or services that benefit your audience. 

Take time to review the commission rates, payment terms, and reputation of these programs. You can also research reputable affiliate networks like the Amazon Affiliate Program or Commission Junction

When selecting programs and affiliate marketing partners, prioritize authenticity and relevance. For example, if your blog focuses on beauty and you want to support cruelty-free brands, consider joining a program with a cosmetics company that doesn’t test on animals.

Another good example is Piktochart’s affiliate program. Piktochart is an organization with a people-focused culture and a well-known brand in the visual content creation space. If your personal values resonate with the company, joining the brand’s program makes sense. 

You’ll learn about different affiliate programs for beginners in a later section below.

Step 3: Select your preferred content and content platform

Choose a content platform that suits your niche and allows you to showcase your knowledge effectively.

As an affiliate marketer, you can get started with the following types of content based on your strengths and interests:

  • Blogging: If you have strong writing skills and a passion for beauty products, starting a beauty blog is ideal. Share in-depth beauty tutorials, honest product reviews, and insightful skincare tips with your readers. Incorporate a few affiliate links seamlessly within your content to drive conversions.
  • Visuals: If you prefer a visually-driven approach, leverage social media to showcase products and engage with your audience. Create captivating infographics that provide valuable information and post them on platforms like Instagram. You can further use features like Instagram Stories to maximize your affiliate marketing potential.
  • Video: If you have a talent for speaking and storytelling, consider launching a YouTube channel or a podcast. With a podcast, you can discuss the latest beauty trends, interview industry experts, and provide valuable advice to your listeners. On YouTube, you can offer step-by-step makeup tutorials, product demonstrations, and skincare routines while integrating an affiliate link or two in the video descriptions or annotations.

When choosing your content platform and marketing channels, consider the platforms you frequently use and feel comfortable with. Ensure you understand the chosen platform well and can navigate it well. 

Here are some commonly utilized platforms by affiliate marketers:

  • Blog and/ or a personal website: Share valuable content and incorporate affiliate links into your blog posts to generate income.
  • Instagram: Showcase products through compelling images and engaging captions. 
  • TikTokCreate short and engaging videos to captivate your audience and drive clicks to your affiliate links.
  • Facebook: Build communities, share content, and promote affiliate products through posts, groups, and ads on this widely-used social media platform.
  • Pinterest: Use Pinterest’s visual discovery capabilities to create appealing pins that attract users to your website or blog. 
  • Pay Per Click (PPC): With PPC advertising, you can bid on keywords and display targeted ads, driving traffic directly to your affiliate links across search engines or social media.
  • YouTube: Create tutorials, reviews, and demonstrations incorporating affiliate links in the video descriptions or annotations.

Step 4: Create helpful content

Once you’ve decided on the type of content and platform for your affiliate system, use the tips below to create helpful, compelling content. The goal is to boost engagement among your target audience, click-through rates, and conversions to affiliate product.

  • Seek expert advice: Collaborate with industry experts to provide well-informed reviews and recommendations. For example, consult a nutritionist for dietary tips or partner with a tech guru for gadget reviews.
  • Think about search engine optimization: Conduct thorough keyword research to enhance your search rankings and improve your visibility. Strategically incorporate relevant keywords into your content to attract organic traffic and reach a wider audience. You can also use visuals for backlinks.
  • Bring your unique perspective: Differentiate yourself by infusing your content with your authentic voice and personal experiences. Share stories, anecdotes, and insights that resonate with your audience, allowing them to connect with you on a deeper level.
  • Use visuals: Enhance your content with eye-catching visuals such as infographics, images, or videos. Visual elements help convey information effectively and capture your audience’s attention. For instance, if discussing a new recipe, include mouthwatering photos of the final dish or create a step-by-step video tutorial.
  • Share valuable insights: Offer actionable advice that addresses your audience’s needs and interests. Provide practical tips, techniques, or solutions to help them solve problems or enhance their lives within your niche.
  • Add clear, engaging calls-to-action: Encourage your audience to click on your affiliate link, sign up for newsletters, make a purchase, or engage with your content through a clear call-to-action. For example, end a blog post with a call-to-action like “Ready to try this product? Click here to get yours now and experience it for yourself!”

Step 5: Diversify your content distribution

You’re almost done! Next to content creation, affiliate marketing success also requires a robust content distribution strategy. Implement the tactics below to generate traffic, expand your reach, generate affiliate revenue, and increase opportunities for affiliate marketing success.

  • Build an email list: You can build the email list by exporting leads from the sales navigator, and offer them valuable content and promotions to encourage sign-ups. Send newsletters to stay connected with your audience.
  • Turn to social media: Share and promote your content on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Interact with followers, collaborate with influencers, and create stunning social media graphics
  • Write guest posts: Contribute guest posts to reputable websites in your niche to reach a new audience and build backlinks.
  • Engage in online communities: Participate in relevant forums and communities, sharing insights and providing helpful advice (and share affiliate links when relevant!). Include your platform’s link in your profile or signature.
  • Collaborate with influencers: Partner with influencers in your niche for sponsored content or joint promotions to expand your reach. For example, work with relevant TikTok influencers with a large, engaged following in your niche. Collaborative videos or duets with influencers can increase your reach and exposure.
  • Create visuals and add them to image-sharing sites: Take Pinterest, for example. Use high-quality images, compelling graphics, and eye-catching text overlays to capture the attention of Pinterest users. Next, take advantage of Pinterest’s Rich Pins feature, which allows you to provide additional information about the products or services directly on the pin. This can include pricing, availability, and even direct links to purchase the items.

Step 6: Track your progress

Track your affiliate marketing results and affiliate income to monitor conversions and click-through rates. With Piktochart’s affiliate program, we ensure transparency with our affiliate tracking software, allowing you to track your results more accurately. 

You can also use Piktochart to create reports that track your conversions and earnings. Once you have a clear picture of your progress, you can make informed decisions about improving your campaigns. By monitoring your results, you can identify what’s working and what’s not and adjust your marketing campaigns accordingly.

Well done – you’ve made it to the last step! You’re now ready to dip your toes into the affiliate marketing industry with little or no money and your newly-learned online marketing skills.

Top 5 affiliate programs for beginners in 2023

Here’s a handpicked list of the top 5 affiliate marketing programs for beginners to help you earn more in 2023.


Piktochart affiliate program page screenshot

Piktochart has recently introduced its affiliate program, making it an excellent opportunity for beginners in the affiliate marketing world. 

As a widely-used information design platform with 11 million users worldwide, Piktochart allows professionals, educators, and students to create visually stunning content such as infographics, presentations, posters, brochures, and more without graphic design experience. Give it a try for free.

Through Piktochart’s Affiliate Program, content creators and influencers can earn recurring commissions by referring new users who sign up for paid plans. The program also boasts timely payouts and substantial average payouts where existing partners have made $3,000 or more monthly.

  • Commission rate: Lifetime recurring commissions of up to 20%
  • Cookie duration: 60 days (a very generous one!) 
  • Payout schedule: Payout is on the 20th of the following month the sale was made


elementor affiliate program page screenshot

Elementor’s affiliate program is open to anyone with a website, blog, or social media presence, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced marketers. 

Whether you’re a web designer, blogger, or someone passionate about empowering others with a top-notch website-building tool, being an affiliate partner for Elementor offers a lucrative opportunity to earn affiliate income while promoting a trusted and widely acclaimed product. 

  • Commission rate: Up to 50 percent on every sale 
  • Cookie duration: 30 days 
  • Payout schedule: After 30 days of signing up 


NordVPN affiliate program page screenshot

If you’re a blogger, tech enthusiast, or marketer looking to monetize your platform, NordVPN’s affiliate program is worth exploring. NordVPN’s trusted brand, strong security measures, and global network of servers make it an appealing product to promote in the growing online privacy market.

Many affiliate marketers favor NordVPN’s program because of its highly competitive commission rates. The program also offers an affiliate dashboard with reliable tracking and reporting, and a dedicated affiliate management support. 

  • Commission rate: 30-40 percent, depending on the subscription plan 
  • Cookie duration: 30 days 


GetResponse affiliate program page screenshot

GetResponse’s affiliate program is a valuable opportunity for anyone looking to promote a leading email marketing and automation platform. The platform is known for its user-friendly interface, powerful features, and excellent customer support, making it one of the attractive affiliate mark products to promote in 2023. 

Their program also offers a comprehensive range of selling materials, content, and guides, empowering affiliates with the resources needed for successful promotion.

  • Commission rate: Up to $100 for upfront commissions and 33% for recurring commissions 
  • Cookie duration: 120 days 
  • Payout schedule: For the recurring affiliate program, commissions are paid around the 20th of each month for verified sales from the previous month.


Bluehost affiliate program page screenshot

Bluehost is a trusted and reliable hosting platform known for its excellent performance, robust features, and affordability. Becoming a Bluehost affiliate is a lucrative option for monetizing your website or blog. 

One of the upsides of becoming an affiliate for Bluehost is you can get started with your custom affiliate link in minutes. Plus, they also pay all fees associated with your payment, so you get the full amount. 

  • Commission rate: $65 per referral 
  • Cookie duration: 90 days
  • Payout schedule: 45 to 60 days 

Best practices when promoting affiliate marketing products 

Before we send you on your way to a successful affiliate marketing career, here are some essential tips to help you avoid common affiliate marketing mistakes and thrive in this type of business model.

Patience and consistency will pay dividends

Affiliate marketing takes time and consistent effort. Be patient and consistent in your promotional activities. Keep creating helpful content, engaging with your audience, and promoting your affiliate link.

Build trust and credibility

Focus on building trust and credibility with your audience. Be honest, transparent, and authentic in your recommendations. 

Never stop learning 

Stay updated with the latest industry trends, affiliate marketing strategies, and online marketing tips. Continuously educate yourself through books, courses, webinars, and networking with other affiliate marketers.

Establish and foster relationships

Build relationships with your audience and affiliate managers. Engage with your audience through comments, emails, and social media interactions. Establishing strong relationships with your affiliate network can lead to repeat website visitors and increased trust. 

Keep things legal

Ensure that your affiliate marketing practices comply with legal regulations and guidelines. Familiarize yourself with the applicable laws related to disclosures, privacy policies, and any specific requirements for your target audience or geographical location.

Start a rewarding affiliate marketer career with Piktochart

Affiliate marketing offers an incredible opportunity for individuals to earn income by promoting products and services they genuinely use and love.

Remember to choose reputable affiliate programs, create content that resonates with your audience, diversify your content distribution channels, track your progress, and stay patient and consistent in your affiliate marketing efforts. 

By following these steps and avoiding common mistakes, you can build a successful affiliate marketing business and enjoy the benefits of a flexible and potentially lucrative income stream. 

Piktochart is an intuitive tool that allows for easy customization for brands, data visualization, and online collaboration. Give it a try for free. Be a Piktochart affiliate partner today.

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Kai Tomboc

Kyjean Tomboc is an experienced content marketer for healthcare, design, and SaaS brands. She also manages content (like a digital librarian of sorts). She lives for mountain trips, lap swimming, books, and cats.

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