How to Start Your Online Business

A Step by Step Guide

How affiliate programs work

 Have you started your Affiliate Bootcamp yet?

An “affiliate program”  is a program in which a advertiser (a business or shop) pays you a commission, when a visitor on your site clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase.  

You as the website owner, do not get paid for having the link on your site, you get paid when the sale is made. 

They call this paid per action. You don’t get paid for having the link on your site, you get paid when the customer, (visitor to your site) clicks on the ad, (link on your site) and follows through and makes a purchase. These sites are by far the most common online business Websites today.

Here is a review of affiliate business for 2017-18

Let me give you an example

Lets say you build a site based on selling golf balls. After you have built your site and want to put some ad’s on it, we need to find companies that have links that you can add.

The good news is that there millions of companies that are looking to have you advertise their products.

So lets pick a really good company, Amazon. Amazon is one of the top paying companies and have millions of products to advertise. When you sign up as an affiliate at amazon, you’ll get an affiliate ID.

Then you as an affiliate of theirs, goes to a special links section at Amazon and choose what you want to add to your site. You check the specials, sales, etc. that they have on golf balls, copy the link which is encrypted with your ID and paste it into your site.

When a visitor enters your site and finds the product listed at the price that is right, they click on the link and it takes them to that product on Amazon. As I said the link has your ID in it. 

They make the purchase and you get paid a commission for sending that customer to them. Its as simple as that. Commissions are paid at a predetermined date, usually monthly. 

Please read through “Adding your Links” for important information

 But it can even get better

Although different merchants operate differently, a lot of the companies out there offer a bonus. An example would be, lets say its the same customer, and not only did they buy golf balls, but they browsed around and purchased other items. You would get a commission on the other items as well.

This happens more often then not and can lead to bigger and bigger commissions.

Some of the merchants offer a plus to this bonus. Let take Amazon again, after you have shown some business coming from your site, (and there is a level you must hit), Amazon will give you a commission  on anything that visitor buys within 24 hours, even if they don’t go to Amazon through your site.

They have to originally go to Amazon from your site, but then if that customer should go back to Amazon directly within that 24 hour period, you will get a commission on anything they buy. Its a smaller commission, but it can add up.

Start an online business for free 

 Its what they call a “Win – Win”

As you can clearly see, in that whole circle of that transaction, you have earned a bigger commission without doing any further work, and the merchant (Amazon in this example) has sold more products. They make more so you make more.

It can all happen because they didn’t have to spend money advertising for that particular sale, and they paid you a commission that is less then what they would of had to spend to get the sale.

As you start to join affiliate programs from different merchants, you will see the deals each of them offer, and you can choose wisely. There are affiliate programs for almost everything you can think of.  

Here are some of the affiliation sites you can join. 
They are direct links, I have no affiliation with them.

(1) Commission Junction
(2) Affiliate Window
(3) Clickbank
(4) ShareASale
(5) LinkShare

Amazon is one of the companies you
have to apply directly too. The image
on the right is a sampling of what
merchants offer direct affiliate links.

Keep your site fresh or more sales

If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is”. I’m sure you have heard this old saying. I can say initially it is good and it is true. But a lot will depend on you and the content you have on your site.

To keep google happy and get better rankings, you have to add content to your site regularly. Reviews of products your promoting, helpful information about related products, etc.

Think of it this way. Try to think of a site that you visit regularly. Why do you go there? Does the site offer the Best Value? Are there fresh articles or blogs that are of interest to you and you want to read? Do they keep the links up to date and offer the best deals?

People are busy today and most don’t have the time to shop all over the web to find the best price on something. If you can offer them that kind of service on your site, they will be back again and again. And every time they click on any of your links, and make a purchase, you’ll be getting the commission.

Unfortunately, most people wanting to build an affiliate website think that having a site and putting a few pages of affiliate ad’s on it, will make them rich. Not at all! It is primarily the content and keywords on your site that will get you visitors. But what is going to keep them on your site?

The competition is tremendous on the internet, what are you going to bring to the table that will make your site different, better, worth the visit? Lets take it a step further.

What is going to keep them coming back? Is it your content, posts, blogs, etc. You have to be different, offer something more than your competition to be successful.

Whatever kind of site you have or are building, do a search for the best affiliate payouts that relate to your site. There are millions of companies out there and all have a different affiliate programs. Pick the one that’s right for your site and right for you.

To find companies offering affiliate programs, just go to google and type in your product + affiliate program and you’ll get a long list of who is offering affiliate programs. 

I hope you found this information useful to you and your future business.


Have you started your Affiliate Bootcamp yet? 

PS: Please leave a comment if you have a minute…Thanks



  1. Weston says:

    Great post! Lots of helpful and useful information. I learned a lot from your post and I’ve been in affiliate marketing for a while now.

    It’s crazy how much affiliate marketing has grown in the last decade. It’s good to know that it’s not going away anytime soon.

    I love that you can get paid a commission even if someone doesn’t purchase the item you are promoting or they go back to Amazon (or another company’s website that you are affiliated with) to make a purchase within 24 hours.

    What has been the best affiliate program you’ve joined?

    Thank you for this information!


    • Douglas Schmitz says:


      The best affiliate program is Amazon but I also am a member of CJ affiliate(formally commission junction), and a few others. Its good to belong to a few for variety.  

      Also, if you join wealthy affiliate, they have a good affiliate program. 

      Its true that affiliate marketing is still growing and will keep growing. But to be successful it takes time and patience. 3 months of building a site with no money being made is common. 3 months seems to be a threshold. 

      Thanks for visiting my site and if you have any further question, just ask. 

      All my best to your success, 


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