Learn Affiliate Marketing: Best Free Online Courses and Resources (2024)

Learning affiliate marketing to promote products could help you earn a commission on your website, blog, social media profile, or video channel. To learn affiliate marketing and apply its strategies, you need to do more than just find random affiliate links and add them to your profile.

In this article, we will guide you through all the steps to building a valuable and ethical affiliate marketing program. Keep reading to discover what affiliate marketing is, how and where it is used, and how to learn affiliate marketing through the courses and resources available today.

Learn Affiliate Marketing: Best Free Online Courses and Resources (1)

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What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of digital marketing that enables you to earn money by driving traffic to a company’s website.

Affiliate marketing is when a company or retailer pays a commission to an affiliate partner, providing them with special links, emails, and affiliate websites to drive traffic back to the company. The commission rate varies per company and affiliate product but usually stands at around a 40 percent commission on the service.

There is a wide range of products and services that affiliates can choose from, so you can choose to promote a product that you love and use often.

What Is an Affiliate Network?

Rather than an affiliate directly contacting a company about promoting a product or service, an affiliate network is like a middleman. An affiliate network allows you, as an affiliate, to access thousands of products, helping you narrow down those that you may want to market.

Although these companies may take time to carry out thorough checks of your content and identification, it is worth the wait. Using an affiliate network is one of the keys to finding your niche. For example, if you have a health and wellness blog, you can use the network to find wellness products to make sure your audience is getting the ads that they want.

Some affiliate networks include Commission Junction Affiliate, ClickBank, Amazon Associates, and eBay Partner Network. These are great to browse if you create high-quality, popular content online. CJ Affiliate is one of the largest affiliate networks, with over 20 years of experience.

Where Is Affiliate Marketing Used?

You can market your affiliate products in most online spaces as long as you disclose an affiliate link. Let’s take an in-depth look at the different websites where you might find affiliate marketing.

  • Facebook. You can post affiliate links on your own Facebook page, or in related Facebook groups. Some people will also use paid advertising campaigns to boost awareness of a brand or product. However, you should always disclose that it is an affiliate. Also, try not to bombard people with products as this might do more harm than good. It is best to start by trying the free, organic traffic route before attempting to use paid Facebook Ads.
  • YouTube. Another popular space for affiliate links is beneath a YouTube video. If you have a popular YouTube account, you can add links to products or services that are related to your videos, and also mention them in the video.
  • Blog. If you have a blog, you can add affiliate links that tie in with what the article is about.
  • Affiliate banners. An affiliate banner is used alongside text links within your blog content. A company will provide you with designs for a clickable banner that links to their website.
  • Resources page. If you are an expert in a particular topic, you can create a resources page on your website that has recommendations for the tools you use in your craft and can add links to your affiliates there.
  • Instagram. Much like Facebook, you can generate organic affiliate traffic with your posts. For example, you can add a link to your bio, then tell your followers to check out your bio for more information on a product or service.
  • Other social media platforms. If you use Twitter, Pinterest, or TikTok, you can easily add affiliates to your bio or content. It is best to have the reader or viewer in mind when finding affiliates so that you can provide your followers with items they need. What types of products do they need? How many products should you advertise, and how often? And how can you creatively tell them about these affiliates in a way that won’t deter them?

Types of Affiliate Marketing

Below are the different types of affiliate marketing, the best way to showcase them, and why they are beneficial to building an affiliate program.

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Affiliate Link

These are exclusive URLs that track the traffic from your website to the company’s website. Every affiliate marketer has a unique URL, including random numbers and letters, or a username. These are then linked within copy or pasted onto a webpage next to a product description.

Email List

Building a loyal following is key to affiliate marketing, so you should be sure to have an email list of your fans. Once your readers subscribe to your email updates, you can promote your affiliated products through regular emails.

The trick with this affiliate marketing type is not to spam your followers with products, but to create valuable email content, then occasionally advertise products that you think your readers may need.

Web Hosting

Web hosting is when you pay for server space and a domain name, i.e., “careerkarma.com.” The “hosting” will then allow you to load your website in that space.

You will pay for a certain amount of storage and traffic to your site, which your web hosting provider will manage for you. All you have to do is provide the files or folder structure for your website.

If you have experience creating a website, this may be an excellent way for you to earn extra money from your affiliate links. You will need to know about search engine optimization (SEO), how to build a website, and how to drive organic traffic to your website.

Pros & Cons of Affiliate Marketing

The pros and cons of affiliate marketing are factors to consider when deciding if it’s the right strategy for you, your brand, and your content. Below we cover some of the top affiliate marketing pros and cons to think about when planning your marketing strategy.

Pros of Affiliate Marketing

  • Low risk. Because there’s no financial capital involved, the outcome of using affiliate marketing is low risk.
  • No cost. This pro is crucial for small businesses trying to get off the ground. There is no cost to becoming an affiliate partner, and as long as you have the right savvy for building a website and producing engaging content to build a following, you can begin earning with no investment.
  • Passive income. With just a small amount of effort initially, your affiliate marketing can continue to bring in profit for you as long as the link and the page featuring it are active.

Cons of Affiliate Marketing

  • Commission payments. It may take some time before someone clicks and uses your links to make a purchase, and the commission payment may take even longer to be paid out.
  • Competition. The competition in the affiliate marketing field is steep, with companies partnering with many affiliates as part of their own marketing strategy. Also, getting your blog or content noticed comes with tough competition.

How to Learn Affiliate Marketing: Step-by-Step

Once you feel you have a good idea of what affiliate marketing is, you can begin your journey. Allow us to break down the steps to take to learn affiliate marketing, including knowing how to get started in affiliate marketing to launch your strategy effectively.

Pick a Niche

The first step in learning affiliate marketing is to decide what your niche is going to be. A niche is a unique segment that is part of a greater market. Its focus is typically on a subset of this larger market. This topic is the specialty that your brand will become known for. Deciding on a niche will help direct your plan and strategy to be one that is in alignment with your unique focus.

Choose a Platform

Next, decide which platform you would like to use to promote your affiliate marketing products. This platform is where you’ll build your following and establish your brand and credibility. The top platforms for affiliate marketing include Instagram, YouTube, blogs, or content review websites.

Create a Strategy

Any marketing class will tell you that effective marketing begins with a strategy. This might include using a calendar tool to create and post your content at a specific time. Factor this in as you research what affiliates fit with your content.

Your strategy should also focus on how best to reach your desired audience, and what kind of content they will most likely interact with. Understanding your target audience will also allow you to promote products that cater to their needs or interests.

Find Relevant Affiliate Programs

Partnering with the right affiliate programs is very important to becoming a successful affiliate marketer and making your efforts fruitful. Firstly, it’s important to consider the reputation of the affiliate program in the marketing marketplace. Working with someone reputable will make it easier to promote their products and services and receive your commission dues.

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Some top marketplaces in the affiliate marketing industry include Commission Junction Affiliate, ClickBank, and FlexOffers. You can also reach out to your favorite brands to see if they offer an affiliate program. This strategy works well as long as the brands and their products align with your niche.

Secondly, the commission structure must be worthwhile in order to glean profits from successful affiliate purchases. Good companies offering affiliate programs typically offer 10 percent to 20 percent commission on sales, so pick the one that’s right for you. Consider a company’s EPC or earnings-per-click too so that you’re aware of how clicks from your site are valued.

Build a Website

Building a website and using it to host your content can help boost your brand as well as your affiliate link click rate. Having a website where you can host a blog allows you to use the content as a place to add affiliate links or to run paid advertisem*nts on the site.

There are many website hosting services and website builders that allow you to build beautiful websites easily, such as Wix. WordPress is also a great website builder to use to quickly and easily launch a functional website and blog.

Learn Affiliate Marketing: Best Free Online Courses and Resources (2)

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Create Great Content

Now that your website or platform is set up, create original, useful, and optimized content for it. There is no point in getting into affiliate marketing if you don’t have an audience to show your high-quality content to. Create material you love and develop your niche.

Build Your Audience

To build your audience, do some research on what your target audience is interested in. Considering what questions the average reader might have pertaining to your niche or chosen topic is a good place to find content ideas. Making your content clear, approachable, and trustworthy will help promote your affiliate links.

Promote Your Affiliates

Once you have enough content and you’ve created an effective strategy and website, you can begin promoting. If you’re using affiliate links, work the products into the content you’re writing about.

The more naturally the links fit into your content, the more authentic your promotion of them feels. This is where understanding your niche and writing strong content is an important part of the strategy.

Best Way to Learn Affiliate Marketing Online

Learn Affiliate Marketing: Best Free Online Courses and Resources (3)

The best way to learn affiliate marketing depends on how you enjoy learning. There are many ways to learn affiliate marketing, including by reading blogs and books, or by taking online courses or free classes. Browse our list below to discover the most useful and reliable affiliate marketing online courses and training.

Online Affiliate Marketing Classes

Below are a few affiliate marketing online courses and classes you may want to pursue. These will help you gain up-to-date knowledge on everything related to affiliate marketing. The best affiliate marketing courses go in-depth on the topic in an approachable way.


These Udemy classes are great if you want to learn affiliate marketing through ClickBank or Amazon Affiliate, or if you want to take an in-depth course to upskill in general digital marketing strategies. Students will learn about formatting, strategies, and traffic.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn is not just a valuable networking and professional portfolio website, it is also a great online learning platform. The above courses will help you get started learning affiliate marketing and promotion, plus a few extra courses to supplement your learning. Find out everything you need to know about this type of marketing and gain a certificate that will be included in your LinkedIn profile.

Free Online Affiliate Marketing Courses

Below are a couple of free online affiliate marketing courses to help beginners learn about digital and email marketing. Review the list below for some of the best affiliate marketing courses free of charge and offered by top companies.

Google Digital Garage

This course by Google is great for complete novices in digital marketing. If websites, social media, and SEO are confusing to you, this course should be your first stop. Think of this course as foundational knowledge that will help you get into affiliate marketing.

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HubSpot Academy

This HubSpot course is a great start to understanding email marketing. This course will teach you the fundamentals of inbound marketing. It is intended for those who are inexperienced in creating email marketing content.

Affiliate Marketing Books

Another way to build your affiliate knowledge is with books, e-books, and audiobooks. These are a great way to flesh out your understanding. Below are Career Karma’s top affiliate marketing books for learning affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing: A Step-By-Step Guide To Making Money Online With Affiliate Marketing, Kevin Ulaner

Learn Affiliate Marketing: Best Free Online Courses and Resources (4)

This book discusses passive income, affiliate marketing, blogging, small business ideas, and financial freedom. Check out this step-by-step guide for beginners to learn more.

From Nothing: Everything You Need to Profit from Affiliate Marketing, Internet Marketing, Blogging, Online Business, and more, Ian Pribyl

Learn Affiliate Marketing: Best Free Online Courses and Resources (5)

This is another great beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing. Ian gets straight to the point about how to create successful affiliate marketing plans.

The Internet is a valuable learning tool. Below are some examples of online affiliate marketing resources that will teach you skills and help you learn more about affiliate marketing.


Learn Affiliate Marketing: Best Free Online Courses and Resources (6)

Is there anything that YouTube has not made more accessible and fun to learn? Check out the experiences of YouTubers who use affiliate promotion on their very channels, and discover more about this source of passive income straight from the horse’s mouth.


Learn Affiliate Marketing: Best Free Online Courses and Resources (7)

This website can be used to cloak your affiliate marketing links to stop people and malware from hijacking your URL. ThirstyAffiliates is a great tool once you have already gotten started in affiliate marketing.


Learn Affiliate Marketing: Best Free Online Courses and Resources (8)

For any kind of content creation, using a plagiarism checker is a top SEO tip. This will let you know if your content will be flagged by Google’s algorithm as plagiarized, which will cause your content to rank lower on Google’s search results.

Should You Learn Affiliate Marketing?

Yes, you should learn affiliate marketing if any affiliate products align with your core values and online presence. If the prospect of sharing products and services with your audience sounds exciting, then follow our steps to affiliate marketing success.

However, be aware that not all affiliate marketing courses available online are legitimate. Only use trusted websites like those mentioned in this article.

We hope this article has shed some light on the positive side of affiliate marketing. We wish you well in your learning process and hope you can help your followers and supplement your income with affiliate marketing.

Learn Affiliate Marketing FAQ

Can I learn affiliate marketing for free?

You can learn affiliate marketing for free through online resources such as Google Digital Garage or HubSpot Academy. These reputable companies offer programs for beginners to help them get started in affiliate marketing. There are also a ton of tutorials available on YouTube from experienced affiliate marketers.

How long does it take to learn?

It can take hours to weeks to learn affiliate marketing, depending on the learning resource you’re using. For example, one course on Udemy that teaches affiliate marketing has three hours of lessons, while another has 36 hours. Depending on how much time you can dedicate to your learning, it may take you a week or two to go through the 36-hour course.

It can take anywhere from six to 15 months to begin earning good money from your affiliate strategy. The process may go quicker if you already have a digital marketing background and a large following on your social media or blog.

Is affiliate marketing hard to learn?

No affiliate marketing is not hard to learn. How hard affiliate marketing is to learn depends on your prior understanding of marketing concepts and strategies, though no prior knowledge is required to pick up affiliate marketing quickly.

How much money do affiliate marketers make?

Affiliate marketers earn between $39,000 and over $73,000 per year according to data from PayScale. The affiliate income earning potential varies greatly depending on how active you are in supporting your affiliate marketing strategies. You can increase your affiliate marketing earnings by employing different types of affiliate marketing.

Learn Affiliate Marketing: Best Free Online Courses and Resources (2024)


Learn Affiliate Marketing: Best Free Online Courses and Resources? ›

If you're planning on making money through Affiliate Marketing, then the answer is yes. While there is a lot of work and effort required to be successful, Affiliate Marketing can be a very lucrative way to earn money online. Also, if you are planning to learn Digital Marketing from scratch, you must join this course.

Do I need a course to learn affiliate marketing? ›

If you're planning on making money through Affiliate Marketing, then the answer is yes. While there is a lot of work and effort required to be successful, Affiliate Marketing can be a very lucrative way to earn money online. Also, if you are planning to learn Digital Marketing from scratch, you must join this course.

What are the best ways to learn affiliate marketing? ›

How to get started with affiliate marketing
  • Step 1: Choose your niche. Your niche is the category you want to talk about and promote. ...
  • Step 2: Decide on a content platform. ...
  • Step 3: Find affiliate programs to join. ...
  • Step 4: Create great content. ...
  • Step 5: Drive traffic to your affiliate site.
May 25, 2023

How to learn affiliate marketing for beginners? ›

How to start affiliate marketing
  1. Decide on a niche.
  2. Choose your platform.
  3. Find relevant affiliate marketing programs.
  4. Create valuable content.
  5. Build an audience.
  6. Follow FTC regulations.
Jan 1, 2022

How much does affiliate marketing course cost? ›

Beginner-friendly Affiliate Marketing courses require no experience. The cost of Udemy Affiliate Marketing courses is INR 2,199 - INR 3,499.

Can a normal person do affiliate marketing? ›

Reality: Anyone can be an affiliate marketer, but not everyone will succeed. Being an affiliate marketer requires skill, experience, and work. It is not a quick or easy road to success, but when done properly, it can generate impressive income.

How to start affiliate marketing with no money and no experience? ›

How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money in 2023
  1. Find an affiliate program and a niche.
  2. Decide your traffic channels.
  3. Target the right keywords.
  4. Create killer content that builds trust.
  5. Promote hard and grow your audience.
  6. Engage with your audience.
  7. Scale it up.
Apr 6, 2023

What are the 3 main types of affiliates? ›

The three main types of affiliate marketing are unattached affiliate marketing, involved affiliate marketing, and related affiliate marketing.

How much does Amazon affiliate pay? ›

How much do Amazon affiliates get paid? Amazon affiliates get paid $100 to $20,000 in the Amazon affiliates program on average. The payments will depend on how many referrals you generate for Amazon.

How long will it take me to learn affiliate marketing? ›

Depending on how much time you can dedicate to your learning, it may take you a week or two to go through the 36-hour course. It can take anywhere from six to 15 months to begin earning good money from your affiliate strategy.

How much can a beginner affiliate make? ›

According to him, affiliate income categories can be classified into four: Beginner – $0 to $1,000 per month. Intermediate – $1,000 to $10,000 monthly. Advanced – $10,000 to $100,000 per month.

Which is the best affiliate program? ›

20 Best Affiliate Platforms in 2022
  1. Amazon Associates. It is the best affiliate marketing platform for beginners as you need not worry about reaching a certain amount of sales volume for earning a higher commission. ...
  2. Awin. ...
  3. Flipkart Affiliate. ...
  4. Reseller Club. ...
  5. BigRock Affiliate. ...
  6. ClickBank. ...
  7. Optimise. ...
  8. Cuelinks.
Mar 3, 2023

What is the first step in affiliate marketing? ›

What are the steps involved in affiliate marketing?
  • Start a website. ...
  • Develop a niche. ...
  • Decide on products that would be a good fit. ...
  • Create an Amazon affiliate account with Amazon Associates. ...
  • Look into other affiliate programs. ...
  • Create relevant content. ...
  • Optimize for SEO and develop an email marketing strategy.

Can you start affiliate marketing with no money? ›

Can you really start affiliate marketing with “no” money? The only way to start affiliate marketing with no money is to get an affiliate link and start sending it to people you know. While this is possible, it's not scalable and won't make you much money unless you're constantly networking.

Is the $7 affiliate marketing course worth it? ›

For $7 though, it does a good job of showing you the basic principles of affiliate marketing. You'll also be given the opportunity to partner with Zach Crawford as an affiliate, so there's scope to earn while you learn, so to speak. You can earn up to $1000 high ticket commissions at this level.

Is affiliate marketing worth it for beginners? ›

Affiliate marketing is worth trying for beginners. It is low risk, inexpensive, and easy to scale. There's no limit to how much you can earn as an affiliate marketer. You may potentially generate a six-figure income from affiliate marketing – with sufficient time, effort, and an effective strategy.

Who is the highest paid affiliate marketer? ›

Who is the highest-paid affiliate marketer? Pat Flynn is one of the successful affiliates who earned over $3 million. Almost 80% of his income comes through affiliate marketing.

Can you do affiliate marketing without showing your face? ›

Absolutely! Many successful affiliate marketers have built their businesses without showing their faces or revealing their identities. The key is to focus on the value you provide through your content, products, or services rather than relying on a personal brand or physical presence.

Do affiliate marketers pay taxes? ›

Do affiliate marketers pay taxes? The short answer is yes.

How do I get affiliate links? ›

How can I get affiliate links? Affiliates can get links by joining an affiliate program. Once approved, they can then access their dashboard to explore the merchant's available affiliate links. The affiliates can promote the link on their website by adding it into their content.

What is the golden rule of affiliate marketing? ›

What is the golden rule of affiliate marketing? Ah, the golden rule of affiliate marketing - it's a simple one: promote products that you genuinely believe in and that are relevant to your audience.

What are the 3 pillars of affiliate marketing? ›

The Core Pillars of Affiliate Strategy
  • Affiliate Communication.
  • Incentivizing Via Your Commission Structure.
  • Leverage Promos.
  • Execute On A Full-Funnel Strategy.
Jun 6, 2019

How much does Walmart affiliate program pay? ›

Affiliates can earn up to 4% on each eligible sale when a customer links directly from a Walmart.com link on your website and completes a qualifying purchase at Walmart.com. Click here to check out our commission rates.

Do you need 500 followers for Amazon affiliate? ›

Social Networks

Your application must clearly list your social media page's exact URL (do not list the social network URL only: e.g. 'facebook.com', 'instagram.com'.) Your social network page or group must be established, with a substantive number of organic followers/likes (in most cases, at least 500).

How long does it take to become an Amazon affiliate? ›

Commission income are paid by direct deposit, Amazon.com Gift Certificate, or check approximately 60 days after the end of the month for which they are being paid. Payment for January is made in late March. Payment for February is made in late April. Payment for March is made in late May.

How much money do you need to be successful in affiliate marketing? ›

In general, there is no set number of how much money you need to become successful in affiliate marketing. $3000 for traffic + $500 for additional tools is a solid monthly budget that should help you grow from a beginner to an intermediate-level affiliate.

Can you learn affiliate marketing by yourself? ›

There are a number of ways to learn about affiliate marketing, including taking one of many online training courses. Experience is often the best teacher, and you can also learn about affiliate marketing by trying it out!

How many hours do you need for affiliate? ›

The requirements to join the Affiliate Program are as follows: Reach 50 Followers. Stream for 8 hours. Stream on 7 different days.

What is the easiest way to make money with affiliate marketing? ›

How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
  1. Create a Content-Rich Website.
  2. Get Targeted Traffic From Google.
  3. Promote Products That People Are Actively Searching To Buy.
  4. Promote Products That Sell.
  5. Promote Products That Offer High Affiliate Commissions.
  6. Optimize Your Affiliate Links To Get More Clicks.
May 19, 2023

What is Amazon affiliate marketing? ›

The Amazon Affiliate program, or Amazon Associates, is an affiliate marketing program. It's free for website owners and bloggers to become Amazon Associates. They advertise products from Amazon.com on their sites by creating links. When customers click the links and buy products from Amazon, they earn referral fees.

What is the highest paying affiliate niche? ›

Technology. Technology is one of the broadest, most profitable, and best niches for affiliate marketing. The global technology market is projected to reach over $5.5 billion in 2023, and consumers from the United States account for nearly one-third of the global tech market.

What is the best platform to build an affiliate website? ›

9 Best Affiliate Website Builders
  1. WordPress. We had to start with WordPress.org because what we're talking about here is a platform from which you can grow a thriving website, and that's exactly what WordPress.org gives you. ...
  2. SeedProd. ...
  3. Thrive Theme Builder. ...
  4. WooCommerce. ...
  5. Shopify. ...
  6. BigCommerce. ...
  7. HubSpot Website Builder. ...
  8. Wix.
Feb 3, 2023

What should I know before affiliate marketing? ›

It's important you know your audience so well, that you understand why they follow you in the first place. Remember, you're not paid to post. Affiliate marketing is a performance-based online business. If you know what your audience likes, you can then refer the best products to them and earn more affiliate income.

Is affiliate marketing easy for beginners? ›

Affiliate marketing is worth trying for beginners. It is low risk, inexpensive, and easy to scale. There's no limit to how much you can earn as an affiliate marketer. You may potentially generate a six-figure income from affiliate marketing – with sufficient time, effort, and an effective strategy.

How many days does it take to learn affiliate marketing? ›

Depending on how much time you can dedicate to your learning, it may take you a week or two to go through the 36-hour course. It can take anywhere from six to 15 months to begin earning good money from your affiliate strategy.

How to do affiliate marketing without followers? ›

Get organic traffic using SEO

The most obvious way to earn money through affiliate marketing without followers is via organic search traffic. The best way to get this traffic is through search engine optimization or SEO for short. SEO is basically how you get your website found on google.

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