What Is Affiliate Marketing And How Does It Work?

Affiliate marketing is how 6-figure bloggers make 6-figures.

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner makes $100,000+ per month on her blog.

What makes affiliate marketing so powerful?

Because instead of EXCHANGING YOUR LIMITED AND VALUABLE TIME for a DOLLAR AMOUNT, affiliate marketers have learned how to build automated income streams that work 24/7 for them resulting in what we call passive income.

The ONLY other way 6-figure bloggers make the bulk of their money is by selling their own digital products.

The same concept applies: you create a product, set up your automations, then simply sell it over and over again.

Now that you know exactly what you need to do, you need to learn HOW to do it.

  1. First I’m going to answer 5 common affiliate marketing questions for beginners.
  2. Then I’ll dive into the 5 steps to get started with affiliate marketing.
  3. Then I’m going to talk about exactly how I made my first $81 with ShareASale and my first $267 with Ultimate Bundles.

How does affiliate marketing work?

You create a piece of content, such as a blog post, social media post, or email blast, around a specific product or service and promote it online.

How do you make money from affiliate marketing?

You earn a commission on the products/services you promote when people purchase them through your unique link or promo code.

What are examples of EXCELLENT affiliate marketing content?

  • Helpful tutorial about how to use a particular product/service
  • Insightful interview of the founder of a particular product/service
  • Personal and honest review of a particular product/service
  • Insightful and informational post on a particular product/service

Where are the best places to PROMOTE your content?

  • Social media, specifically Pinterest and YouTube
  • Recommendation page on your website/blog
  • Your email list

Where do you find products/services to promote?

On affiliate marketing platforms where there are tons of companies who want you to join their affiliate program to promote their products/services. The top platforms to join are;

If you have a particular brand in mind that isn’t on a platform, they may have their own affiliate program. Some companies that fall into this category are;

  • Ultimate Bundles – bundles of $1500+ worth of content for 90% off the original price
  • BlueHost – one of the most preferred web hosting companies for bloggers
  • Shopify – the best e-commerce platform for dropshipping
  • ConvertKit – the best email marketing platform out there for bloggers
  • Teachable – the easiest to use online course creation platform

Now that you have a general idea of what affiliate marketing is, let’s dive into how you can tap into it for yourself and START MAKING SOME MONEYYY!!!

1. Sign up for a ShareASale account.

This is the easiest platform to get on as a beginner. Plus, regardless of what niche you’re in, they have loads of products/services for you to choose from.

2. Choose ONE product/service to promote.

Focus on ONE platform and ONE product at a time. It’s a LOT to learn so make sure you’re not overwhelming yourself.

I have listed 12 examples of products ShareASale has on their platform that you can sell in your niche, according to my viral post: 12 Most Profitable Niches For Making Money Online.

  1. FITNESS & WEIGHT LOSS – Infrared Gemstone Mats
  2. HEALTH & WELLNESS – Menstrual Cups
  3. DATING & RELATIONSHIPS – Love Notes Designer Tool
  4. PETS – Habit And Goal Tracker App
  5. SELF IMPROVEMENT – Free Grammar Tool
  6. MAKING MONEY ONLINE – Worldclass Invoicing Platform
  7. BEAUTY – Infrared Anti-Aging Solutions
  8. GADGETS & TECH – Social Media Automation Tool
  9. PARENTING – Helpful Etsy Products
  10. FASHION – Influencer Store Platform
  11. TRAVEL – Best Wireless Chargers
  12. LIFESTYLE – Free Online Marketplace

3. Write a blog post about the product/service.

Decide on what kind of post you’d like to write.

  1. Tutorial
  2. Interview
  3. Review
  4. Informational

You can combine two of them if it makes it more interesting. This post you’re reading right now is part informational and part tutorial because I first had to answer “What is affiliate marketing” then I dove into “how affiliate marketing works”.

4. Promote your blog post.

  • The fastest place to get traffic to your post is from Pinterest.
  • The best place to get traffic is from Google, but it usually takes about 6 months of optimizing all your posts properly every time in order to see organic traffic. However, once your post starts ranking in Google, you’re pretty much set… and the best part is, it’s 100% ORGANIC and FREE!

So learning about SEO is definitely the long-term goal that you don’t want to neglect, but for right now we are going to talk about how to get immediate traction to your post so you can see immediate results.

Lots of people are on Pinterest, but few know how to use Pinterest to skyrocket their traffic.

  1. First, create 2-3 different pins in Canva using the best Pinterest dimensions, which are 735 x 1102 pixels.
  2. Second, change up the text, color, placement of words + photos to see what works for you. It’s a personal preference to use images in your pins or not, I just prefer not to.
  3. Third, schedule your pins using Tailwind to your own boards as well as groups boards. If you’re not a part of any group boards, use PinGroupie to find some relevant ones to join.

Designing clickable pins is the key to getting traffic.

Joining group boards is the key to massive traffic.

Here are 6 examples I made for this post to show you examples of what I mean by changing up the text and placement of words. It doesn’t have to be the EXACT headline you have, but it must be pretty similar.

5. Track your results.

Make sure your Pinterest account is set as a business account so that you can see your stats.

Also, make sure you’re scheduling your pins with the ONLY tool that Pinterest has approved: Tailwind. Any other scheduling tool may get you booted off Pinterest. Pinterest is really selective about who they work with – I lost my previous account because of this, so don’t make the same mistake as I did and have to start all over again!

Monitor your results on both the backend of your Pinterest account as well as your Tailwind account to see how your pins are performing. This will tell you what colors people respond to, what kind of text interests them, and how you can improve your pins to get more traffic to your post which will generate more money for you!

How I made my first $81 on ShareASale.

tailwind shareasale ladybossblogger

ShareASale was the first affiliate marketing platform I ever joined.

I decided to become a Tailwind affiliate after I signed up for their services and liked them. It just so happened that they were conveniently an advertiser on ShareASale so they became the first company I ever promoted.

The first blog post I wrote about Tailwind was: How To Auto Post On Instagram And Find The Best Hashtags.

I didn’t explicitly talk about Tailwind in that post but mentioned it as an additional resource.

Then I wrote How To Get 100 Pinterest Followers In 7 Days and my Tailwind sales BOOMED.

I talked about how Tailwind specifically helped me gain Pinterest followers and showcased my results.

It was a tutorial on how to get more Pinterest followers and Tailwind was the heroine of the story! 

If you don't see the best results on your first try, TRY AGAIN. Practice makes perfect. Click To Tweet

Additionally, Tailwind is a low risk tool and you earn 15% PER SIGN UP in addition to PER SALE.

Plus what blogger do you know that DOESN’T USE Tailwind?!

(Probably because it is the ONLY tool that Pinterest Certified).

So help yourself out and sell trending and popular products!

How to structure your affiliate posts;

  1. Pose the problem.
  2. Discuss how you solved the problem.
  3. Then present your solution – the solution is always going to be the product/service that you’re an affiliate for.

You can also flip #2 and #3 around and present the solution then discuss how you solved the problem with it.

In this post the problem was “how to make money with affiliate marketing” and the solution was through tools like ShareASale along with the techniques I shared on how to use it properly along with my personal experience using it!

IMPORTANT: Don’t EVER promote a product/service that you haven’t personally used before and gotten results from. 

If you talk about a product that you don’t know anything about, first off, people can tell, but secondly and more importantly, YOU’RE LYING. Don’t do that!

How I made my first $267 with Ultimate Bundles.

ultimate bundles ladybossblogger

Before we talk about that, let me first address this question.

What kind of affiliate products/services work best?

Ones that…

  1. Closely align with your niche
  2. Pay per sign-up in addition to per sale
  3. Higher priced items
  4. Pay higher percentages

Recap: the first product I sold on ShareASale

  • I made $81.88 selling Tailwind.
  • It was a great first product/service to promote.
  • However… it wasn’t the BEST use of my time.


It took me 4 hours each to write those posts only to have made about $40 per post.

When you promote higher priced items… naturally you’ll get a higher payout so your time is better spent.

So I decided to sign up to be an Ultimate Bundles affiliate, which is what I suggest every single blogger signs up for because it’s literally the EASIEST thing to sell.

It doesn’t matter what niche you are, Ultimate Bundles will have a bundle for you!

The bundles they currently have won’t last forever, they constantly change their bundles, so if you don’t see something that matches you right now, wait until they come out with one that will work for you.

The only way to ensure a good payout is if the bundle closely matches your niche.

I decided to sell their “Work At Home” Bundle and made $18.80 that first week passively. All I did was put their banner on my sidebar.

So I decided to sell another one of their bundles called “Genius Blogger’s Toolkit” and made $248.31 in 4 days from simply sending a few emails.

They offer 40% on most of their products and 70% if you become a bundle contributor.

If you don’t have your own product yet, this could be your first!!!

Remember what I said waaaay back at the beginning of this post?

The ONLY other way 6-figure bloggers make the bulk of their money is by selling their own digital products“. 

DING DING DING! This is the jackpot – you’re an affiliate AND a product creator!

So sign up for Ultimate Bundles and let’s start making some monayyyyyy!!!

But first, PIN the image below if you found this post helpful!

What Is Affiliate Marketing And How Does It Work? ladybossblogger