How to Launch a Side Hustle as an Affiliate Marketer—NEW for 2022.

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by Doc Kane
Updated: February 25, 2022

Get Started with Affiliate Marketing and Shore up Your Finances This Year.

Why Get Started with Affiliate Marketing?

If you can write, research, and are a little tech savvy, the income you can earn as affiliate is meaningful, and its a constantly growing industry. It’s also 100% remote (put together a simple managed WordPress site)—and you’re just about good to go.

Affiliate marketing is a secret driver of our consumer economy. As an industry, it’s current market spend comes in at a hefty 6.8 billion dollars a year, and is forecasted to grow upwards of about 10.1% a year through at least 2022. (Source: Statista)

Companies deep within the Fortune 50, and to every little mom and pop imaginable use some sort of affiliate marketing to drive referrals and business to their operations. Rakuten, one of Japan’s largest, and most respected firms, was once again named in 2020 the #1, Best Affiliate Network in the World, by mThink, affiliate marketing’s leading research authority body.

So, what IS affiliate marketing?

Well, if you’ve ever purchased a book on Amazon after first clicking a link on someone’s blog or website, the person who posted that link on their website likely earned a small commission from Amazon as a result of that sale.

Have you ever used a coupon code on the internet to purchase something? Been sent a referral code from a friend or family member to test out a new service? Each of these scenarios are examples of affiliate marketing at work.

How about personal business referrals? Many business will credit you with loyalty points for such referrals… again… that’s essentially affiliate marketing.

Lately, I’ve been in love with the free training and the incredible community over at Wealthy Affiliate… kind of a scammy name, but inside there is some real magic happening, and I have found it to be quite worth the time I’ve spent digging around so far.

Give it a shot, if you’d like to learn more about how affiliate marketing actually works, and how to get good at it so you can make some really money doing it the right honest way. 

In the B2B world, we call this type of arrangement channel marketing. 

Channel partnerships are one of the most successful and profitable type of partnership a company can arrange because in doing so, every partner a company recruits becomes an extension of the original sales team—helping to spread the message of the company, no matter how small at it’s base, to a wider audience. And, often to an already eager, and “warm,” customer base—that of the channel partner.

Prior to living in Japan, I was the marketing communications director for a Chicago SaaS startup in the medical space called RevenueWell.

When I joined the firm we had a handful of people working with us in the U.S. (maybe 10 at best) and a small team of software developers in Russia and Ukraine.

Yet, within just three years or so, we were busting at the seams, building out new office space and hiring to the tune of about 100 employees. We were named one of Chicago’s Best Places to Work, and grew monthly revenue and profit at an impressive scale.

Much of that growth was because we sold an amazing product with the help of a much larger affiliated salesforce of our own through channel partnerships that included dental consultants, dental product distributors, and a other dentistry professionals and networks.

It became an amazing machine that helped place thousands of dentists across the country on the fast track to better marketing, healthier practices, and patients that were more educated, and more in charge of their own health.

All of that was possible because we leveraged partner marketing. It works, and it’s worked forever.

This is the mindset I want you to embrace when you’re thinking about getting involved with affiliate marketing. It is a legitimate line of business you can pursue to earn money for yourself and your family while contributing to the greater economy AND learning important sales and marketing skills that will benefit you throughout your life.

So, let me help you dig in a bit more to learn how to get started in affiliate marketing in 2021. Ready? let’s do it.

Two great places to start with affiliate marketing once you’ve got a website up and running is ShareASale, and FlexOffers.

A number of the products I use in my business (like Animoto for video creation) are ShareASale partners. You can sign up for free, and then when people purchase from links on your website, you’ll get a commission for referring business to them. Good luck!

How to Build a Blog, OG

1. Choose Your Blog’s Niche

Blogging, like any other form of writing, requires you have a solid understanding of your audience. In other words, who exactly, will you be writing to? This is particularly important when you’re trying to sell something with your words.

In the marketing world, we use fancy words like “buyer persona” or “niche marketing” to describe this effort. But, essentially it’s a rather simple process.

Basically, you want to ask yourself:

  • what it is you have to sell
  • what sort of person will be searching for what you have on offer
  • what precisely does that person LOOK like?

Once you’ve addressed each of these questions, you’ll have your niche. I’ll explain this a bit more in detail below, and there are wonderful, free digital online marketing classes you can take to boost your skills in this area, if you need the schooling. Three of the best digital marketing programs out there are SEMrush Academy, Digital Marketer’s DM Insider, and Ahrefs Academy. Each of these companies offer free marketing training, so they’re worth checking out. I’ve taken classes at Ahrefs, and Digital Marketer, and can voch for their excellence.

If you’ve got your niche already picked out know what you’re wanting to say to them, now is the time to grab a website and hosting to get things rolling. The only firm I use for both of these things is MediaTemple. Their support is incredible, and their pricing doesn’t change with every renewal. Which is rare. I’m a proud affiliate, and have over 100 sites registered with them.

A great place to start with Affiliate Marketing once you've got a website up and running is ShareASale. A number of the products I use in my business (like Animoto for video creation) are ShareASale partners. You can sign up for free, and then when people purchase from links on your website, you'll get a commission for referring business to them. Good luck!

This is my absolute favorite book
on starting a Side Hustle.