Affiliate Marketing Explained: An A-Z Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

Affiliate Marketing Explained

Have you recently met bloggers who have bragged about how they make hundreds and thousands of dollars from affiliate marketing?

Or do you have friends who do not work 9-5 jobs, are always working on their computers, are not involved in cyber-fraud, but are always having enough money to brag about and pay bills with?

That’s because they most likely sell products online, or are affiliate marketers for companies. Fear not. They’re not cyber-criminals (yahoo boys).

Affiliate marketing remains one of the most lucrative online money-making opportunities for both affiliate marketers and companies in the world, and Nigeria is not left out.

Marketers like students and graduates of our digital marketing course legitimately make money from affiliate marketing in Nigeria from the comfort of their homes daily, and you too can.

Imagine a marketing program that has the potential of earning you huge sums of money effortlessly without working a 9-5 job or paying a dime.

That’s affiliate marketing for you. Sounds too good to be true, yeah?

Many Nigerian online marketers and web-savvy individuals like me are also making a lot of money from affiliate marketing programmes in the country and beyond and you too can join them with the knowledge you’d be getting from this post.

You can learn how I continue to make huge sums of money from affiliate marketing here

All you’d need are your website, commitment, a marketing strategy, and an eye for valuable online affiliate marketing programs.

In this post, you are going to learn what affiliate marketing is, the basics of affiliate marketing, why you should do affiliate marketing in Nigeria, and some tips on how to get started to help you reduce your risks.

I would suggest that you fasten your seatbelt…

…are you ready? Now, let us dive in.

What is Affiliate Marketing?


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The best definition of what affiliate marketing is perhaps the one offered by Pat Flynn:

[bctt tweet=”Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.” username=”dmsinstitute”]

Put simply, affiliate marketing means that you basically have to recommend a product or service to your audience and readers using custom tracking links, and then get a referral commission every time someone makes a purchase using your link.

Affiliate marketing also is a type of online performance-based marketing in which a business pays a commission to one or more of its affiliates for each visitor or customer that visits their website via the affiliate’s website through a custom link.

Because many top brands have huge marketing budgets and running costs that they have to meet, affiliate marketing becomes a viable option for them.

This presents an opportunity for you if you are a blogger, content marketer, website owner or anyone with the skill of selling to make fast money from the comfort of your home.

Many product companies such as fashion, web-hosting, etc., usually run affiliate programmes. You can simply sign up for their programme, get your unique tracking link, write reviews about their products or any other marketable content, then strategically input your custom link in the post.

You will get paid once anyone visits their website from yours and makes a purchase using your link.

Now Let Us Look At All Of The Parties Involved In The Affiliate Marketing System…

what is affiliate marketing

Wikipedia talks about 4 different parties that are involved in affiliate marketing: the merchant, the network, the publisher, and the customer.

Other definitions talk about 3 parties instead of 4, excluding the customer.

Here, I will explain all 4 parties for better clarity.

Let us start with…

The Merchant: Sometimes also known as the creator, the seller, the brand, the retailer, or the vendor. This is the party that creates the product or service. It can be a big company, like Amazon or a training institute like our Digital Marketing</a> Skill Institute Affiliate Programme.

From solo entrepreneurs to startups to massive Fortune 500 companies, anyone could be the merchant behind an affiliate marketing program. They don’t even have to be actively involved. They just need to have a product to sell.

Next, is…

The Affiliate: This party is sometimes also known as the publisher. Affiliates can also range from single individuals to entire companies.

Affiliates are the ones who make the marketing happen. An affiliate promotes one or multiple affiliate products and tries to attract and convince potential customers of the value of the merchant’s product so that they actually end up buying it.

It could also be an entire site that’s dedicated to finding cool products related to certain topics and promoting those affiliate products.

Then, there is…

The Network: Only a few people consider the network as part of the affiliate marketing equation.  However, an affiliate marketing guide needs to include networks, because, in many cases, a network works as an intermediary between the affiliate and the merchant.

Think of it as the marketplace.

Sometimes, affiliates have to go through an affiliate network to even be able to promote the product.  For example, this happens if the merchant only manages their affiliate program on that network.

The affiliate network then also serves as a database of lots of products, out of which the affiliate marketer can choose which to promote.

And finally, we have…

The Consumer: The customer or consumer makes the affiliate system complete. Without sales, there aren’t any commissions to hand out and no revenue to be shared.

The affiliate will try to market to the consumer on whatever channel they see fit, whether that’s a social network, digital billboards or through a search engine using content marketing on a blog.

Whether the consumer knows that they are part of an affiliate marketing system or not is mostly up to the affiliate.

Some choose to let their consumers know and more and more affiliates tend to be transparent about their marketing being incentivized financially, but others don’t.

They let the tracking system work in the background, where the customer can follow the purchase process just as usual and the affiliate still ends up being paid a commission.

The consumer will not typically pay a higher price to the affiliate marketer, as the cost of the affiliate network is already included in the retail price.

It all depends on what your is.

Now, Let Us Get Down To Basics of Affiliate Marketing

what is affiliate marketing

Here are some basic and common terms you should know about affiliate marketing:

Merchant: This is the retailer, brand or company that you market for

Affiliate: This is the advertiser or publisher (you and me) who promote, advertise and make sales for companies using our affiliate links

Affiliate marketplace: Also called the “network”, this is the platform that connects merchants with affiliates and also manages payments e.g. ShareASale

Affiliate software: This is any software used by companies to create and track an affiliate program for their product. E.g. iDevaffiliate.

Affiliate link: This is a special tracking link obtained from your merchant to track the progress of your affiliate promotion.

Affiliate ID: Similar to the affiliate link, many affiliate programs offer a unique ID or HTML code which you can add to any page on your site where the product is advertised.

Landing pages: This is a unique product sales or demo page that you can use to advertise your affiliate link. Unlike websites, landing pages are more purposeful and convert leads better.

Link clocking: Most of the affiliate tracking links are either too ugly or long. You can use a URL shortener like Thirsty Affiliates to turn ugly links into links that can be read and understood by your readers.</p>

Benefits of

Affiliate Marketing in Nigeria

what is affiliate marketing


So now that you have a basic understanding of what affiliate marketing is, as well as some common terms used in the industry, you should now learn why you need become one too.

Asides the money-making benefits, there are a few others. </p>

        1. Affiliate Marketing is Profitable

what is affiliate marketing

[bctt tweet=”Affiliate marketing is perhaps, one of the most profitable online money-making opportunities in the world. In Nigeria, affiliate marketing is also very profitable, as there are many merchant companies and web-savvy online marketers.” username=”dmsinstitute”]

Mr. Kunle, for instance, a blogger, earns ₦100,000 almost monthly from affiliate program, after graduating from our digital marketing course, where he learned the best affiliate marketing formula in the industry.

If you blog on specific niches such as web technology and fashion, you can be sure to earn lots of money for every customer you refer to buy. You only need to refer your readers from your content and ads to make huge money.

That’s one of the many strategies that Mr. Kunle employed. You can learn more by registering for our digital marketing course.

(Click here to secure one of our very limited seats)

        2. Affiliate Marketing Attracts Low Cost

what is affiliate marketing

With affiliate marketing, you do not need large investments, an office space, staff, expensive customer support services or huge overhead costs.

All you need is your website from [eafl id=”8985″ name=”Bluehost Hosting” text=”Bluehost”] or [eafl id=”8984″ name=”Namecheap Hosting” text=”NameCheap”], high website traffic and an excellent content that is strategically marketed.

Also if you don’t have any money to start, you can use free social media, website creation and plugin tools that we provide to students and graduates of our digital marketing course to start your affiliate marketing business.

(Click here to secure one of our very limited seats)

        3. You Do Not Need To Create or Own a Product


As a plus to you, you don’t need to own or create any product as an affiliate marketer.

All you need to do, as the name implies, is to select the products to sell, get the affiliate links, and market already created products that are owned by the merchants.

      4. Affiliate Marketing is the Easiest Online Business To Do


This is the easiest online business to start since the merchants do all the hard work like making products, product delivery, handling money transactions, etc.

[bctt tweet=”Affiliate marketers are not responsible for any of these tasks. All that they do is to focus on promoting, marketing and selling their affiliate links on their own performance-based terms.” username=”dmsinstitute”]

In all of this ease, lies some tactful and strategic content marketing and advertising actions that you would need to deploy to get the best out of your affiliate marketing business.

Sometimes, coming up with these strategies can be daunting, but not to worry…

y earn money from affiliate marketing while you sleep. Once you have your affiliate links strategically placed on your high traffic website(s), people can visit your site and links whenever and from wherever they are, without you even being online.

If they like the product, they can easily buy it by just clicking the given links.

The only work to do is to check your inbox to know whether sales have been made via your link or whether commissions have been paid. I bet that doesn’t sound difficult to you.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing in Nigeria

what is affiliate marketing

In this section, you are going to learn a step-by-step guide to becoming an affiliate marketer in Nigeria.

I have covered this subject more comprehensively in this blog post, where I wrote the step-by-step guide on how to get started with affiliate marketing for Nigerians.

You can click here to read it.

First, here’s what you’ll need to get you started:

      1. A website (learn how to create a very cheap WordPress website here)
      2. A website niche that matches your preferred product. This would make sure you don’t end up trying to sell everything and over-promote your website
      3. You need an excellent niche and product-related content where you can strategically market your links for visitors to visit
      4. Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to ensure your content is easily and quickly accessible by interested readers so they can make purchases using your link.
      5. Use email marketing services like [eafl id=”8990″ name=”Mailerlite” text=”MailerLite”] to effectively automate your communication with potential leads. This can help increase website traffic as well.
      6. Use effective and common URL shorteners to shorten your links and track which ones perform best. Shorter and less intrusive links get more clicks.


Step 1: Define your Niche

what is affiliate marketing

Before even setting up your blog, you should define your blogging niche according to your expertise, your passion, and interest for the topic, the profitability of the niche, whether there are many bloggers and affiliates in your niche.

You should also be sure that there are affiliate programs in your niche since your blog is monetized. In many cases, fashion, technology, fitness, dieting and lifestyle niches are always good picks.

Step 2: Search for Affiliate Programmes

what is affiliate marketing

After defining your niche, you should now search for affiliate programs that you can sign up for and obtain your custom links.

[bctt tweet=”Keep in mind the relationship between your niche and the affiliate program, the type of merchants and their offerings, the marketability of their products and services, and how valuable their commission is.” username=”dmsinstitute”]

Use platforms like SearchASale or ClickBank to find the best affiliate marketing programmes in Nigeria for you.

You can also register for our digital marketing course, where we would furnish you with some of the most profitable affiliate marketing programs, as well as tips, tools and website optimization strategies to get your affiliate links visible to paying customers in Nigeria.

Want to learn from the best affiliate marketers and meet with affiliate marketing mentors in Nigeria?


You need to click here to secure one of our very limited seats.

Step 3: Website Setup

what is affiliate marketing

This is the web design and set up stage.

Here, you should buy a domain name and web hosting from a reputable and affordable platform like [eafl id=”8984″ name=”Namecheap Hosting” text=”NameCheap”] and also get a reliable Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress for your content publishing and affiliate marketing.

WordPress is particularly suited for affiliate marketing because of its amazing affiliate marketing plugins that make the process seamless for you.

Step 4: Create Marketable Content


Now that your site is set up and you have signed up for good affiliate programmes, this is the time for you to create marketable content or banner ads that can increase your web traffic and get people clicking your link via the content.

Ever heard of the overused, but evergreen phrase “content is king”?

Well, this is where your skill and expertise in content marketing and niche advantage comes to play.

You can create content like product reviews, infographics, answers to trending questions, support materials, etc.

Note that the goal of these contents is not to profit the merchant, but to quicken your marketing bottom line, which is to get people to click on your link and make sales.

[bctt tweet=”Without the right content marketing formula, however, your product reviews. social media promotions and other affiliate content marketing techniques might go to waste.” username=”dmsinstitute”]

Nobody wants this for their business…not even you.

Good news is, content Marketing is king and our digital marketing course on content marketing is the law.

Register for the course to learn how to develop engaging, responsive, clickable and sellable content for your affiliate marketing business.

(Click here to secure one of our very limited seats)

Step 5: Build Your Audience

what is affiliate marketing

Building an audience for your site will, in some ways, follow naturally once you start producing excellent and useful content.

[bctt tweet=”An interested audience will not only bring you consistent traffic but also result in consistent sales for you.” username=”dmsinstitute”]

You can build your audience with SEO techniques, social media promotions, guest posts on high traffic sites, email marketing, paid advertising, and many more.

Step 6: On-Page


This is the golden money-making stage. It’s the real deal. This is where you promote your created content on your website.

Your on-page content promotion can include, but not limited to; product reviews, banner ads, in-text content links, email campaigns, social media promotions, e-books, infographics, video captions on YouTube, discounts, and giveaways like coupons, etc.

Once a purchase is made using your link via these promotions, you will automatically get paid a commission by your affiliate company.

Let’s Wrap It Up…

There you have it, guys.

This post has been an ultimate guide to what affiliate marketing is and how to get started in Nigeria.

No doubt…


Affiliate marketing is a good way to get started with online marketing.

The only question is,

how can you get started with the best affiliate marketing strategies to ensure that your efforts pay you? 

The best place to find the answer to that question is at our digital marketing course.

You’ll not only learn the winning affiliate marketing formula, but you’ll also be empowered with the best tools, high commission affiliate marketing programs and a thriving community of great affiliate marketers to guide you through.

Click here to sign up and start making money from affiliate marketing now.

Still got questions on affiliate marketing?

Let me know in the comment section and I would provide all the expert support I can.

FAQ About How to start affiliate marketing 

How do I start an affiliate marketing?

To begin, follow these steps:

  • Choose a Niche: Pick a topic or industry you’re interested in and knowledgeable about.
  • Research Affiliate Programs: Join reputable affiliate programs relevant to your chosen niche.
  • Create a Platform: Establish a website, blog, or social media presence to share content.
  • Produce Quality Content: Generate valuable content that resonates with your audience.
  • Use Affiliate Links: Incorporate affiliate links into your content to earn commissions on sales.

Does affiliate marketing really pay?

Yes, you can earn a lucrative income source when done effectively. Success depends on factors like choosing the right niche, promoting quality products, and building trust with your audience.

Can you make $100 a day with affiliate marketing?

Earning $100 a day with affiliate marketing is possible but varies based on factors like your niche, audience size, and product commission rates. Consistent effort, quality content, and strategic promotion are key to reaching and surpassing this income goal.

9 Tested and Proven Ways to Make $500/Day with Digital Marketing Skills working from home or anywhere.

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