Affiliate Marketing: How to Make Your First Sale

As a blogger, your job is to provide great content to your readers.


Stuff they can use almost immediately.

But does that mean that you can’t make money from them?


In fact, they’d love to buy things from you. That’s if you’ve been treating them right.

So, do you have to create your own product?


How will you make money then?

Well, that’s where affiliate marketing comes in.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is simple.

You promote someone’s product and every time you make a sale you earn a commission.

Here’s how it works:

  • You choose a product and join its affiliate program.
  • You share, promote, or recommend the product using your affiliate link.
  • You earn a cut from every sale you generate.

How Bloggers Can Earn With Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the easiest way for you to earn money. Especially if you already have some traffic coming in.

And below, I will show you how to make money as an affiliate/blogger.

Before you even think about promoting products and making sales, there’s something important you must do.

Choose a Quality Product

The first step to becoming a successful affiliate is to choose a product.

But, it cannot just be any old product.

It’s got to be great. It’s got to help the customer solve his or her problem.

It’s got to have a good affiliate program. It’s got to have a good commission rate. And, it’s got to have a trustworthy merchant.

Don’t worry about how much it costs. If it’s awesome, people will buy. Your commissions will stack up on top of each other until they’re taller than the Empire State Building.


It’s got to relate to your blog’s topic. You can’t be trying to sell video game accessories to people who’re interested in losing their belly fat.


When you’re choosing a product to recommend to your readers, follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure the product is nothing short of great. If you can give at least a 4/5 rating (based on your experience), that’d be awesome.
  • Make sure that it has a good affiliate program. A good one will have tools like custom link tracking and etc.
  • Make sure the price and/or commission rate is worth your while.

Now you’ll need a way to promote that product.

7 Ways To Promote Your Affiliate Product

1. Write a Product Review Post

Product reviews are one of the best ways to get people to click your affiliate links.

According to a source, about 70% of consumers rely on reviews before making the purchase. And 72% will take action if it’s a positive review.

They’re even highly searched in the search engines. Particularly Google (obviously).

affiliate marketing for bloggersSeeing as how most of your potential affiliate product customers will come from organic search traffic, this is a big deal.

2. Write a Product Comparison Post

Another great, but hardly used, affiliate technique is the product comparison post.

It’s almost like the product review, but instead of reviewing just one, you review several. And, you don’t go all out or in-depth like you would with a normal product review post.

It’s also very similar to the product roundup post, which we’ll get into in a minute. But with 2 differences:

  1. You’ll talk a lot more about the products. More than roundups, less than reviews.
  2. You’ll go more specific. Instead of “best marketing tools” you’ll go with “best email marketing tools”.

A great example of this is Blogging Wizards’ post on the best social sharing plugins.

affiliate marketingSo when you’re creating your own product comparison post, look at it for inspiration.

3. Create a Recommended Resources Page

Perhaps the most underrated affiliate marketing tactic of them all, the “resources” page is one of the most visited pages on a lot of websites.

Why? Because people love using stuff the people they look up to use.

You may have seen them before. Sue has one.

A Resources page is where you talk about your favorite tools or the tools you use to achieve success.

For example, if you’re a blogger you would recommend resources like your web host, favorite WP themes, the plugins you use, and more.

4. Sprinkle Links Throughout Your Content

This is simple. And could get you a sale here and there. But the link will still have to be relevant.

If you’re talking about anything related to the product you’re promoting, 90% of the time you’ll get to sneak your affiliate link in.

You can link to it when you mention the product itself, or even when you mention the product type.

Sometimes, you can even add a little note section where you recommend the product to the reader. It’s something like this:

Note: If you need help managing and cloaking your affiliate links, we recommend you check out Pretty Link (Lite).

You see what I mean?

5.  Create an Expert Roundup Post

Let’s call it the Affiliate’s Expert Roundup Post, or AERP for short.

Anyway, AERPs aren’t like regular expert roundups. They have one big difference…

Instead of asking the expert contributors for some sort of advice, you would ask them what their favorite tools are.

A great example is the one I did on Blogging Aid where I got 63 pro bloggers and marketers what email tools they’d use to grow their lists.

blogging affiliate marketing

In that post, I received a lot of great answers. And, I’ve even made a few hundred bucks from that post.

affiliate marketing for bloggersPro Tip: Create a list of all the top tools with the most mentions and feature it at the top (before the actual expert contributions), like this:

affiliate marketing for beginning bloggersThis is where you can link to your affiliate links.

6. Create a Product Roundup Post

We talked about the comparisons a few minutes ago. We mentioned the 2 differences, which means roundups are broader (in terms of topics). And you don’t go all out or in-depth when talking about the products.

As an example, let’s go with Sue’s ultimate list of blogging tools.

affiliate marketingShe’s got nearly 100 tools in about a dozen categories.

Perfect example.

7. Product A vs Product Z

What about the regular comparison posts where you compare product A with product Z?

Sure. But today, you rarely see them.

The reason? No clue.

Perhaps it’s because there are too many popular products in every category. Or maybe consumers already know which product they want.

You know what I mean?

With that said, you can still compare A vs. Z and see some success. But you’ll have to feature the right products. Otherwise, it’ll just be a waste of time.

A great example of this would be BloggersIdeas’ OptinMonster vs. LeadPages post.

Jitendra, the owner, puts 2 of the best lead generation tools against each other.

You could even go bigger. Like what a Karol K did on CodeWP where she put 4 of the best lead generation tools against each other.

One thing I’d highly recommend, though, if you do create one of your own vs. a post, create a comparison table to go along with it.

CodeWP has one for theirs and it looks amazing. And I bet at least half of their visitors don’t even read the rest of the post.

affiliate marketing for bloggersConclusion

Affiliate marketing is easily one of the best ways for bloggers to earn money.

It’s easier than most monetization methods because you’ll never need to create your own product or process orders and deliver.

All you need to do is choose the right product for your audience, introduce it to them using the methods above, and bam! You’re there.

If you have any questions or comments, we’ll see you in the comments section below.

MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU  8 Benefits Of Social Media Marketing For Bloggers

Julian’s been blogging for 2 years. He’s the owner of Blogging Aid, where he shares advice on how you can become a better blogger. You can also find him Twitter.

70 thoughts on “Affiliate Marketing: How to Make Your First Sale”

  1. Hi Julian, very interesting and encouraging post. Is there any site where I can look up products for affiliate marketing?

    I seriously need this, cause I have never earned from my blog!

    Thank you so much for the post.

    • Hi Jerry,

      I know Julian will soon be here to answer your question but I want to quickly chip in something to help.

      First, there are platforms like Clickbank, Commission Junction, ShareAsale, Dealguardian, etc. However, most of the products I promote have their standalone affiliate programs.

      I use thrivethemes products and their affiliate program is at thrivethemes. com/affiliates.

      If you are using some premium tools on your blog, the quickest way is to start off with their affiliate programs. This will be easy to sell as you already have some experience using them.

      Good luck bro

      • Enstine, thanks a lot for the useful chips. Just started signing up with one of the links you provided, will try all! Bless you Sir!

    • Hey Jerry,

      Try Amazon, Shareasale, Cj Affiliate, Clickbank, Jvzoo, and more.

      There's also in-house affiliate programs. This is where businesses and companies open their own affiliate programs. The ones mentioned above are known as affiliate networks.

      To find these, try these Google search strings:

      – your niche + affiliate program

      – your product + affiliate program

      (ex: wp themes + affiliate program)

      Good luck!

      Julian Sakanee recently posted 13 Tested and Proven Blogging Tips to Make Your Blog a Treat to ReadMy Profile

      • Thanks Julian, just started with shareasale. Could not complete signing up with Clickbank, cause my country, Nigeria is not among the countries listed for the signing up procedure. Thanks a lot!
        Jerry Peri recently posted LOVING THE WRONG PEOPLE!!!My Profile

  2. Good to see you here Julian. You know I'm excited each time I read some good stuff like this about affiliate marketing.

    These are all methods that work. I have seen result with them so anyone reading this article and willing to apply the tips definitely will see results.

    Another post type that works so well is when you discuss how a product can be used to achieve something or solve a problem. In my most recent article, I discussed how to use a plugin to drive traffic from WhatsApp mobile chat app. Because I show my results, readers get excited and are checking out and buying the plugin. That of course is giving me commissions.

    Good stuff bro. Do have a wonderful week, you both.
    Enstine Muki recently posted WhatsApp Share Button ~ How to drive web traffic from WhatsApp!My Profile

    • Yeah, man. Great point. Showing your readers the product can solve their problem is another great way to convert.

  3. Hi Julian,

    These are some great tips for anyone who wants to get started with affiliate marketing. I do believe that it's one of the easiest ways to get started making money online.

    You don't have to worry about customer support or deal with some of the headaches that come with product creation. However, the downside is that if the affiliate program changes or disappears you'll be forced to find something else to promote.

    This happened to me several years ago. I was doing very good with an affiliate product. Then it disappeared and unfortunately, it wasn't a very common niche. I was unable to find an affiliate program to replace it.

    So while affiliate marketing is an awesome way to make money. I don't believe that it should be a bloggers main source of income. Just my two cents 🙂

    I've personally purchased products from people who write a great review. You can pretty much tell if the bloggers are actually using the product. Or just writing a review for the commission.

    Great tip on recommending not promoting products that you don't use. These are some awesome tips Julian and I appreciate you sharing them with us.

    Have a great day!

    – Susan

  4. This are some awesome tips! I have been dabbling with affiliate marketing on my website. Wrote a couple reviews for products and I try to link back to them from each article I write. I haven't been working on it enough though. I'll definitely write some of the other article ideas mentioned in this article. Thanks!

  5. Been thinking for a long time about affiliate marketing but have our heads into so many other stuff. Thanks for this post I will prioritize this now over everything else.

  6. If I sprinkle links throughout a post should they be to different products or is is okay to give links to the same product if it is mentioned in the piece more than once?

  7. One of the best posts I’ve read till now about affiliate-marketing website. I’ve seen so many successful businesses who started with the good amount of investment with a unsuccessful end.

    I am waiting for your next post.

  8. Super helpful post. I started my blog a while ago, like four years back but I've only now realized how simple affiliate marketing is, and the tremendous opportunities that are out there. It always seemed to me like something that only the gurus could do.

    If I knew then what I know now, I would be way ahead.

    Keep them tips coming! 🙂

    • Hey Sheeroh,

      Yeah, affiliate marketing isn't only something "gurus" can do. You can, too. 😀

      Good luck with everything.

      – Julian

  9. Been thinking for a long time about affiliate marketing but have our heads into so many other stuff. Thanks for this post I will prioritize this now over everything else.

    • Hey man,

      Yeah, that expert roundup was pretty cool, eh? 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by here and leaving a comment. Appreciate the support.



  10. Hey Julianne, Thanks a lot for mentioning my post here I really appreciate your efforts here, You have done a great job by sharing great tips for affiliate marketing, many people start affiliate marketing but only few people survive.


    Thanks for sharing this information.

    It is not easy to making the first sale as a newbie. But if you follow the right way then definitely you can.

    Affiliate marketing is the best way to make money online. We can make more money with less traffic.

    You have mentioned that Product A vs. Product Z comparison. This is really good things to make comparison table.

    May I have two question for you. Can I promote affiliate product via Facebook advertising?

    How Can I get a review copy?
    Subhashree recently posted Best DSLR Camera Under Rs.40000 in India 2017My Profile

    • Facebook ads? I'm sure you can.

      I'd recommend creating an affiliate sales page on your site, perhaps a product review or case study. And then marketing that through the FB ads.

      Getting a review copy? I'm assuming you're talking about getting a product for free so you can review it for your blog.

      This will depend on the product owner, I guess. But it will require some outreach. You'll basically have to ask for it. So I'd suggest building a little relationship with the merchant, first.

      Good luck,

      Julian Sakanee recently posted How to Learn Affiliate Marketing Without Getting ScammedMy Profile

  12. Hey Julian,

    Now-a-days, people are making huge money through affiliate marketing. Today, several products are available online to do affiliate for good commision. But quality product is always required when you going to do affiliate marketing because it is main key to sell easily on internet.

    Review post are always considerable when it comes to promotion of any products – it opens the mind of customer. Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

  13. Great article. I believe when we are stepping into the affiliated marketing field, it is important that we market the products very much relevant to our blogging site. You have exceptionally described all the steps for affiliated marketing. Much thanks

  14. Hey Julian and Sue,

    Affiliate marketing is one of the hottest trends. As bloggers also need to make some money because no one would go further if they can't live their life as a blogger.

    Comparing plugins and reviewing the most searched can be really effective.

    The roundup post listing the products you use or recommended can help you land many people.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Ravi Chahar recently posted Fix Fatal Error: Maximum Execution Time Exceeded In WordPressMy Profile

  15. Hello Julian,

    Thanks for this detailed and informative post. Affiliate Marketing is really a great to make money from your blog. I have following some of the tips you have mentioned here and the results are very fruitful. I also advocate to choose right products in affiliate marketing. Thanks again for the post.
    Vishwajeet Kumar recently posted The 8 Types of Content Blog Readers Expect in 2017My Profile

  16. Hey Julian,

    Those are great tips to make that first affiliate sale. Writing product reviews and product recommendations not only help people with making their purchase – with a genuine review you can build the trust factor.

    Doing expert roundups is a smart way to promote affiliate products because the trust factor can be easily built here – instead of just you, now you have a gang of experts recommending products so people will think less before making a purchase.


    Jane recently posted Why Information Overload Is A Big Hurdle To Your Blogging Success (and how to avoid it?)My Profile

  17. Affiliate marketing is big opportunity for blogger. We have been doing over the years and getting great result.

    Whatever you have used tools or services in the past for your website and saw the experience yourself by using it, now your job is to review it and add affiliate link into post help you to earn affiliate fees.

  18. Hi,

    Most of the newbie affiliate marketers quit affiliation business because they are not aware of how they can make the very first sale that will motivates them to make the another sale.

    It is always a good idea to start with a highly convertible affiliate product or service and also choose the products or service which is specifically related to the niche of the blog.

    Product reviews, comparisons, lists and resource pages help to generate affiliate sales.

    Gaurav kumar joshi recently posted How To Re-Publish Your Existing Blog Posts On Medium To Drive Extra TrafficMy Profile

  19. This is surefire way to make my first affiliate sale. As I have made some but I always want more and more to read my blog and buy from my links.

    That roundup idea and product comparison thing seems to be very interesting and Live examples you've given are motivating as well.

    I am going to try this out now.

    Thanks for sharing this way
    Vashishtha Kapoor recently posted 10 of Best Luxury Car wallpaper for desktops 2017My Profile

  20. Hey Julian

    Affiliate marketing can become your primary source of income if you play it right. I really like the concept of Affiliate Marketing. You will earn when someone makes a purchase from you. But what I realize that it is not that easy. It is not easy to convert a visitor into a customer.

    But, the ways you mentioned are really good and I am going to try some of them.
    Jayant Gosain recently posted How to Install Kodi on Roku Streaming StickMy Profile

  21. Hi Julian,

    Thank you so much for this great article i am aware with SEO but through this article i am knowing some important thing about affiliate marketing and it will be very helpful for me.

  22. I completely go with the message in the post Affiliate Marketing is the best one for the bloggers to earn income online.

  23. Hi,

    Nowadays, people are making huge money through affiliate marketing. Today, several products are available online to do affiliate for good commission. But quality product is always required when you going to do affiliate marketing because it is main key to sell easily on internet.Thanks for this valuable information with us.

    Thanks and regards,

  24. Hey,

    I hope you are doing well….

    Affiliate Marketing is booming right now and everyone wants to know so am I.

    I found this article interesting.

    Could you please make video on this topic.


  25. Hi Jerry,

    Great write up and awesome tips.

    Writing product reviews is the surefire ways to educate your audience about your products by also increasing your clicks and sales.

    Just make sure NOT to write generic product reviews, write honest reviews so they can benefit (your audience). Also make sure to write detailed case studies around the products you promote (it worked like a charm for me).

    Using expert roundup posts for increasing your affiliate sales is a great idea.

    Keep rocking.

  26. Hi Julian & Sue. I love affiliate marketing. I have very little interest in making my own product to sell. Affiliate marketing lets me make money by recommending the products and services that I already use – web hosting, the books I read, many of the products that I use. Actually, my primary business is in network marketing and I treat that as if was an affiliate marketing business. It works the same way.
    Wayne recently posted How To Protect Your Income From the Changing TimesMy Profile

  27. Hi Julian,

    This article is very interesting. Your article is helpful for bloggers very much. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Yes, writing a product comparison post is a great tip because it enables you to write more about a product which otherwise would be difficult to write about.

  29. Affiliate marketing can work so long as you do some keyword research first, find products with decent commission and provide enough quality information that the page on which you are promoting the product isn't seen as being weak on content.
    Simon recently posted Should I use Free Web Hosting?My Profile

  30. Great read, always looking for extra cash, Love your tips! I agree with you, Looking forward to seeing your notes posted. The information you have posted is very useful. Keep going on, good stuff.

    Thank you for this valuable information. I have enjoyed reading many of the articles and posts contained on the website, keep up the good work and hope to read some more interesting content in the future.

  31. Hi Julian,

    You have written a great post. I want to ask a question and my question is that can we earn more money by affiliate marketing when compared to add?

  32. This is a great tutorial. I’ve finally figured out how to make good-looking pins so now I need to go back to my previous posts (some affiliate stuff) and make pretty pins for them to hopefully generate my first sale!

  33. affiliate marketing is like any business and it takes time to develop if you are going to become truly successful with it. Some of the things that I personally would suggest are; Choose a good reliable hosting platform and website builder that will allow your business to expand and will give you the right technical support. Select a niche that can become profitable and that you will retain an interest in, since you will have to produce a lot of content and spend a lot of time reading and researching about it
    affiliate programs recently posted How to make money OnlineMy Profile

  34. Awesome article!

    Thanks Julian for writing such a simple and easy to read article.

    I completely agree with it's easier than monetization methods because you're never dealing with the actual product.

    Once you get that first sale then that will hopefully be the snowball of many more sales to come!

    Once again, thanks for this article!

  35. Hi Julian,

    Wow! What a great post. You have explained everything very well. But I have a question that can we earn more money when compared to ads?

  36. I am a newbie affiliate, I am learning about affiliate marketing, this article is really worth reading, I got great knowledge about the business,looking forward to more information like this, keep doing this great work and keep sharing with us.

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