How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing (2022 Complete Guide)


How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
You partner with a company selling products/services you would like to recommend to your audience. If they buy something using your affiliate link, you get a commission from the sale. There are other types of affiliate programs, but this is the most common and is also what I do.

1. Find Your Niche

My career journey went like this: online marketing > web design > WordPress web design > WordPress SEO > WordPress speed optimization. Now I’m focusing on WordPress hosting.

While I was doing WordPress speed optimization I noticed lots of people needed it, but very few people supplied it (there was a lack of services and tutorials when I researched Google). I also knew hosting was the #1 factor of website speed and hosting companies paid up to $200/sale. Hosting is a competitive space but the commissions and lack of supply enticed me.

I expanded my SEO blog and started writing about hosting, cache plugins, and other relevant topics… while recommending Cloudways in many guides. I added social proof like the Facebook polls where they were rated #1. Each tutorial was super detailed (like this one) and tons of people found them helpful – many get 100+ visitors/day since great content = higher rankings.

Once I found my niche (WordPress speed optimization), a solid hosting company with a high commission affiliate program (Cloudways), and created tutorials around topics people in my niche would find helpful (and might want to change their host), that’s what got me to $150k.

affiliate marketing payment proof

2. Start A Blog Or YouTube Channel

A blog and YouTube channel are completely different, not just because one is writing and one is shooting videos. But each of them are different in terms of SEO, conversions, time, and the cost.

Blogging vs. YouTube Videos

  • Ownership – you own your blog, not YouTube.
  • SEO Traffic – it takes longer to get SEO traffic to a blog than YouTube.
  • SEO Difficulty – the SEO competition in YouTube is often less than Google.
  • Cost – YouTube is free, blogs require domain, hosting, development costs, etc.
  • Content Updates – it’s easier to update a blog post than to remake a video.
  • Coupon Codes – YouTube is great if your affiliates let you use coupon codes.
  • Time – it takes longer to set up a blog, (though Astra Sites have made it easier).
  • Expectations – in your niche, do people prefer watching videos or reading articles?

Start A WordPress Blog (read my guide)

  • Domain – GoDaddy or Namecheap.
  • Hosting – Bluehost for cheap/slow, Cloudways for good/fast.
  • WordPress – what I recommend building your website/blog on.
  • Astra Starter Templates – WordPress themes most people are using. They look amazing, are mobile responsive, and are 1-click import. Just install WordPress in your hosting account, login to your WordPress dashboard, and download the Astra Starter Sites plugin. Pick a theme and import it in one one 1-click, then you’re ready to start customizing your blog!
  • Have A Developer On Hand – to this day, I still pay Pronaya (my developer from Bangladesh) to do things I can’t. If it takes him 1 hour but it takes you 3 days to install your WordPress theme, just have him do it. He can be found on freelancer.com with the username bdkamol. Here’s his profile link. I’ve been working with him since 2011, so yes, he’s legit.
Astra starter templates


3. Sign Up For Affiliate Programs

Hosting, Amazon, and affiliate programs related to “making websites” are very popular.

Websites – if you’re in the “how to make a website/blog” industry, I’ve accumulated a list of affiliate programs for WordPress, hosting, themes, plugins, SEO, email, CDNs, and services. Remember that to get approved, some companies require you to be somewhat established.

Affiliate Program Category Commission Recurring 2 Tier
A2 Hosting Hosting $55 – $125 x
All In One SEO Pro SEO 20% x x
Astra Themes 30% x x
Asset CleanUp Pro Plugins 20% x x
AWeber Email 30% x
Beaver Builder Themes 25% x
Bluehost Hosting $65+ x x
BunnyCDN CDN $20 credit x x
Cloudways Hosting $50 – $150+
Convert Pro Plugins 50% x x
Constant Contact Email $105 x x
Divi Themes 50% x x
Elementor Themes 50% x x
GeneratePress Themes 30% x x
GoDaddy Hosting 15% x x
GreenGeeks Hosting $50 – $100+ x x
GridPane Hosting 1 free month x x
Kadence Theme 20% x x
Hello You Designs Themes 20% x x
Hostinger Hosting 60% x x
HostGator Hosting $65 – $125+ x x
JohnnyVPS Hosting 2x monthly price x x
KeyCDN CDN 100% of 1st payment x x
Kinsta Hosting $50 – $500 x
LearnDash Plugins 35% x x
Long Tail Pro SEO 30% x
MailChimp Email $30 credit x x
NameCheap Hosting 35% x x
NameHero Hosting $50 – $125+ x x
Ninja Tables Plugins 20% x x
NitroPack Plugins 20% x
OceanWP Theme 30% x x
OptiMonster Plugins 20% x x
Perfmatters Plugins 20% x
Pretty Links Affiliate 25% x x
Rank Math SEO 30% x x
Refer WordPress Other 20% x x
Restored 316 Designs Themes 20% x x
Scala Hosting Hosting $50 – $200 x x
Schema Pro SEO 30% x x
SEMrush Analytics $200 x x
ShortPixel Plugins 30% x
ServerPilot Control Panel $25 x x
SEOPress SEO 20% x x
SiteGround Hosting $50 – $100+ x x
SpinupWP Control Panel $25 credit x x
StackPath CDN $20+ x x
StudioPress Themes 35% x x
ThemeForest Themes 30% of 1st payment x x
Themeisle Themes 55% x x
Thirsty Affiliates Affiliate 30% x x
TubeBuddy Other 30% – 50% x
UpCloud Hosting $50 credit x x
Whitespark SEO 20% x x
WP Coupons Affiliate 40% x x
WP Engine Hosting $200 x
WP Johnny Other 25% x x
WPX Hosting $70 – $100+ x x
WP Rocket Plugins 20% x x

Affiliate Marketplaces – these have hundreds of merchants to choose from. It’s nice to login to 1 place and checks the performance of multiple affiliates without going to each individual portal on their site. Many programs aren’t part of a marketplace though. I use ShareASale and Impact.

Affiliate Marketplace Number Of Brands Popular Brands
ShareASale 15,200+ Hewlett Packard, Sears, LovePop, Grammarly, Daily Harvest, NameCheap, WP Rocket, WP Engine, Envira Gallery
CJ Affiliate 3,800+ Overstock, GoDaddy, Zappos, Walgreens, TurboTax, QVC, Newegg, Hotels.com, HelloFresh, TeamViewer, Guitar Center
Impact 800+ Airbnb, AppSumo, Constant Contact, Envato Market, HostGator, InMotion, Lending Club, Levi’s, Squarespace
Rakuten Marketing 50,000+ Udemy, Walmart, Macy’s, StubHub, Hulu