Affiliate Marketing

How To Build An Affiliate Marketing Business

 May 23, 2020

By  Chris Hiew

You have heard people are making money online via affiliate marketing, and you want to try a hand on it.

However, you would not be sure this is the right time to build an affiliate marketing business in 2020. 

The answer is yes.

No doubt, building an Affiliate Marketing Business this year has never been more promising than ever.

Although the barrier to entry is higher today than before, the truth is, the internet is STILL very much in its infancy, and most people just haven’t caught onto this business model yet.

In this article, we will discuss how to build an affiliate marketing business, the state of affiliate marketing business, its growth trends, and the key components for success in building an affiliate marketing business.

The State of Affiliate Marketing Business and Growth Trends

This year will be the best year to build an Affiliate Marketing business to follow up with the momentum of the significant growth in 2019.

The growth in internet usage and online spending has triggered additional growth in the affiliate marketing business space, including much wider adoption by major retail brands.

Firstly, let look at some data fact.

Based on data research provided by Statista (chart below), digital buyers worldwide are forecasted to surge to $2.14 trillion by 2021 from USD1.32 trillion in 2014.
How To Build An Affiliate Marketing Business
The actual online spending exceeded USD2.5 Trillion in 2018 provided by various online entitles, meaning that the opportunity for affiliate marketers has doubled during this same period.


Retail Sales (In Trillion USD)

% of Total Retail Sales
















Hence, more online retails sales equate to more opportunities for affiliates to capture new audiences and potential customers through various online platforms.

With the surge of online spending and technology pushing forward, building an Affiliate Marketing business has been more encouraging than before!

The Foundation Process of Building a Successful Affiliate Marketing Business

Although, the Affiliate Marketing space continues to evolve, grow, and change shape as each year passes by.

The foundation affiliate marketing’s business modal has remained unchanged.

Pat Flynn has the best definition of Affiliate Marketing:
"Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting another person’s (or company’s) product."

For instance, you, as an affiliate (publisher), find a product you like, promote it to your audience and earn a commission from the merchant (the advertiser) for each sale that you make.

One of the most popular marketplace is the Amazon Associates Programs.

For more clarity, view the visual below to get better understanding of the process of an affiliate marketing business:
Affiliate Marketing Process

Having said that, we took a look at it's pros and cons being an Affilate Marketer:



1. Little or no investment to start.

1. Take time to generate traffic unless you use paid ads.

2.No product creation.

2. Less control over products/services and prices.

3. No product holding.

3. Highly competition and audience fatique.

4. Low risk.

4. Offer fatique.

5. Passive income potential.

5. Not all affiliate programs are the same.

6. More freedom.

6. Risk of links highjacking.

Like any offline business, there is risk involved, but the risk of building an affiliate marketing business is far low.

The best part of it you can earn passive income and have a flexible time (Time, financial, and location freedom).

However, affiliate marketing is not suitble if you are:

  1. Looking for quick cash.
  2. Hate to promote.
  3. Easily get discouraged.

The Key To Traffic Success

Although the process is unchanged, the sources of traffic have changed marginally.

An affiliate marketer has a plethora of viable traffic sources. It is difficult for affiliates to measure which one route to focus.

ProfitWorks Inc., in its research paper, has confirmed that SEO search traffic has converted the best. SEO efforts are significantly better in terms of return of investment (ROI) and time than social media marketing.

One of the key factors is that search traffic via SEO is a much more engaged audience that is actively looking for information and ready to make a purchase.

Rather, social media marketing is more of an interrupt marketing strategy.

Another factor that is critical to your search traffic in 2020 and beyond is your mobile audience.

Why is it important?

Here is the top 10 mobile user statistics:

1. 80% of users used a mobile device to search the internet in 2019.
2. 40% of online transactions are done using a mobile device.
3. US mobile search ad spending estimated at 28.12 Billion in 2019.
4. More than 50% of websites are using responsive web design technologies that work for all devices.
5. More than 3 over 4 shoppers use mobile devices along with physical shopping.
6. By the end of 2019, mobile advertising will account for 72% of all US digital ad spending.
7. Nearly half of users read reviews of all purchases on their mobile phones.
8. Website speed is important for more than half of the mobile users.
9. Nearly half of mobile users switch to your competitor instead, after a bad experience with your mobile site.
10. 3 out of 4 teenagers regularly make purchases online now.

If you are not considering your mobile user experience, your affiliate marketing efforts are going impacted in several ways. One of the key ones is your SEO (organic traffic).

Starting from July 1st, 2019, Google announced that it would start indexing and ranking on the mobile version of a page first instead of based on the “desktop” version.

How to Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly:

1. Check Your Website is Mobile Friendly or Not.

You can easily check your website is whether mobile-friendly or not? Google has a mobile-friendly website tester called Webmaster Tool to do exactly that, and it’s accessible right here.

2. Use a Responsive Theme on CMS.

Most of the themes or mobile websites in the market now, by default, these days are “responsive.”

In other words, this means that they will automatically respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform, and orientation.

Also, this includes images, content, plugins, and navigation - because what your users’ experience is far more important than how well your website designed.

Further, if you are using WordPress’s website builder to build an affiliate marketing website, your theme will be responsive.

3. Avoid Cumbersome Themes and Plugins.  

We suggest that you avoid using plugins on your website unless necessary for efficiency and themes bloated with unnecessary features.

They will only slow down your website performance, and this becomes very noticeable on mobile devices.

4. Cache Your Content. 

There are plugins you can use to help with caching, for example - WP Fastest Cache. If you have caching plugin in place, you are serving your pages from “cache,” which is ultra-fast memory storage.

Further, this improves your website’s speed significantly and decreases the load your website requires to serve content.

5. Optimize Image Size

When dealing with mobile devices, the goal here is to create and optimize your images with the smallest possible file size while still looking crisp and clear.

Furthermore, the bandwidth of mobile devices is much smaller than desktop’s and causes longer loading time.

Remember, mobile-friendliness isn’t just about having a nice site design.

It’s about improving the user’s experience, and the load times they go through are a major part of that experience.

Shrinking the file sizes helps load the page faster and generally contributes to your site’s positive and optimized image.

6. Use Google’s Free Testing Software. 

Google offers you a suite of testing tools that you can use to check your website speed and performance, in both mobile and desktop environments.

I suggest you check your web pages with PageSpeed Insights to ensure your site is above the ideal 80/100 mark for mobille. The closer to 100, the better.

7. Test Yourself for Design and Experience. 

You can test it out for your yourself. This something easily you can do, in particular if you regularly work on your website development from a desktop or laptop.

So you can have a good grasp of your mobile environment.

8. Get A Managed WordPress Web Hosting Service.

Every website needs hosting and makes sure that you choose a Managed WordPress Web hosting provider with a great high-speed rating.

If you aren’t operating a website that loads efficiently to your visitors, they will leave.

This poor user experience is also one of the most critical ranking factors in Google Core’s updates.

Search Traffic From Social Media Platform

From the chart, you can see that Facebook still dominates the Social Media landscape, while Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, and other social platforms follow suit.

There are 2.65 billion users on Social Media platforms in 2019. You can leverage social campaigns to create an affiliate marketing business in any niche.

However, the value of a free profile and the related “reach” has been diminishing.

Nowadays, social platforms put more emphasis on monetization through advertisement.

Nevertheless, paid advertising on social media platforms will remain a viable means to obtain quality and high converting traffic in 2020.

The 4 Key Components Of Building An Affiliate Marketing Business

1. Traffic. 

Traffic is the lifeblood of a successful affiliate marketing business. Not just any traffic through but relevant and qualified traffic is what we are after.

It is exceedingly difficult to convert irrelevant traffic with affiliate marketing offers, so you must understand the idea of relevant traffic.

In this context, relevance is related to the keywords or search phrases you used that are the trigger points for targeting your audience correctly.

So that you have an engaged and ready to purchase customers.

1.1. Pay Per Click Or SEO Campaign.

In any Paid Per Click or SEO campaign (in Google, Yahoo, or Bing), the formula to a successful search campaign is as follow:
Successful campaign
If you can understand that process, you can create high converting, high ROI campaigns.

The traffic is predictable in terms of what people are after; it is easy to determine your audience.

Google remains the largest search engine platform with an overall 89% market share worldwide. Bing & Yahoo, which came second.

Social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, are all going to remain viable sources of quality traffic in 2020 and beyond.

However, in 2019 Google has sunset Google +, a social media platform that has been anticipant to happen.

Instead, Google has launched another new service called - Keen -represents a new opportunity to grow popularity and traffic. It's also an alternative to Pinterest.

1.2. YourTube - Video Traffic

Video traffic will remain a prominent force in 2020, especially YouTube, particularly its main focus.

Including video into your daily business activities can lead to another viable and significant stream of traffic to your affiliate marketing business.

The audience within YouTube is an engaged one. It will also convert at an extremely high level because video content contained all the elements of trust.

1.3. Forum

Another traffic source is Discussion platforms such as Reddit, Quora, & Relevant forums and communities are also locations that can be leveraged by affiliate marketers to extend their industry reach and obtain traffic.

As a precaution, all affiliates avoid Traffic Exchanges & Solo Ads because these types of traffic have been either bogus or low converting.

All successful affiliate marketing businesses must start with an overall plan. Still, within that overall strategy plan, the initial focus is always traffic.

Without traffic, you won’t be able to generate revenue for your affiliate marketing business’s survival.

The continued growth of the internet and usage amongst users will lead to growth in traffic opportunities for affiliates through 2020. 

2. Trust.

Trust is not something that you can build overnight, but if tempted to make quick money, you can lose trust overnight.

Thus, trust goes hand in hand with your ability to captivate and to convert your audience. People get better at research and expect quality content, and they also expect helpful information.

If you cannot provide this, you will not retain their trust, attention, or get the sale.

How To Establishing Trust Among Your Audience.

  1.  Offer valuable content that help people
  2.  Don’t constantly pitch (which will hurt rankings and losing trust quickly)
  3. Over-deliver your promise
  4. When you promote something, make a recommendation and give people choice
  5. Always make yourself available to help
  6. Always be tranparency with your business dealing

Therefore, you need to create a sense of comfort to build up the trust as website visitors most often won’t know you or your brand before visiting your website.

The faster way to do so is to relay your content in an informative manner, be helpful, offer insightful content, and engage with your content.

If you can do this, selling as an affiliate marketer will become much easier and seamless.

3. Customer Relationships.

Good customer relationships based on customer experience - what it is like for people to do business with you.

According to BDC Client Experience Manager Chris Palin, that experience is all about “how you exceed customers’ expectations.”

You must connect and create a relationship in a trustworthy and selfless manner. From there, you move your customers through the purchase lifecycle to making a buying decision.

There are several customer relationship focal points that you should be focusing on in 2020.

It is true about a customer’s behavior that changes other than the technology that they are exhibiting their purchasing habits within.

So, here are some of the customer relationship strategies you should be implementing in the year ahead:

3.1. Encouraging Engagement/Communication.

When you create your content, you want to encourage people to communicate within your website where applicable.

Of which these include offering your help, suggesting others share their experience and feedback, although in some cases opinionated or controversial discussions.

When people see that you are willing to engage, and better yet, engaging within the comments on your website by replying to every comment.

You will build much trust in your content, brand, and affiliate product or service recommendations. That is refered to content marketing strategy.

3.2. Email Marketing.

Affiliate marketers who leverage Email Marketing in their traffic strategies will eventually build long-lasting and fruitful relationships with your audiences.

It be should be in your top priority list.

According to statistics, as your email mature, the open rate will dip to 15%. There is no alarming, but continue to build up your list and do regular maintenance to delete those inactive subscribers.

Please remember that you don’t sacrifice an instant commission to build a list if someone is on your site and ready to purchase.

3.3. Authority Content.

Your audience will see you as a respected authority if you constantly and actively create and offer high-quality content that solves their problem.

Therefore. it will create and build trust in your relationship with your audience and naturally leads to trust you more in your “recommendations.”

3.4. Keep Current, Keep Engaged.

It is important as an affiliate marketer that you always stay on top of your industry, current events, and hot trends.

You will want to establish an authority figure within your industry, as this will create trust.

Blog about what is currently taking place in your industry, offer your opinion and insights on current events, and publish industry-related content with consistency and regularity.

4. Happy Customer Make Repeated Transaction

Relationships are becoming more and more critical to the affiliate marketing environment.

If you can create relationships and trust amongst your audience, you can create repeat transactions and long-term customers as an affiliate marketer.

Remember, it is easier to sell to an existing customer than to sell to someone visiting your website for the first time.

Read this related article: Digital Marketing Tools and Resources to help you build your online business.

4 Common Characteristics And Natural Behaviours That Affiliate Marketers Must Have

1. Work Ethic. 

The most important behavior that all successful affiliate marketers exhibit is that those who aspire to go “full time” are work ethic.

Work ethic means your ability to set goals, work hard, and persist in your efforts until you achieve them.

Never afraid of failure, as we all learn by trial and error until you succeed.

2. Focus. 

Here, we mean to focus on ONE thing at a time and be good. You don’t need to know all, but being it only takes being great at one thing to be phenomenally successful online.

For example, in terms of your marketing approach, you don’t need to be an expert at SEO, SMM, PPC, email marketing, and others.

(3) Niche Immersion.  

To become an industry expert, you must immerse yourself in your niche, understand it, and learn about it daily.  

Therefore,you will always be moving in the right direction.

(4) Goal Setting and Planning. 

Your goal should be efficient and achievable. It serves as a timetable for what you want to achieve with your affiliate marketing business.

There are 3 types of goals:

-  Bite Size Daily Goals:

These are your daily actionable goals, but can even be segmented into hourly if you have some microtasks you are working.

Plan your daily tasks each day ahead, in which these goals related to productivity in your affiliate marketing business.

-  Weekly/Monthly Goals.  

Weekly or Monthly goals are short-term goals. These goals should set ahead, and they can be ambitious.

You will rarely complete every goal, but you should knock off as many of them.

- Long Term, Yearly Goals. 

You should be setting long term goals, which will be your financial goals and part of your vision.

I recommend you to set your long-term goal at least once per year.

Despite that, there a lot of things that can accomplish in a year. Still yet, you never know what can happen in business. You want to be able to remain flexible with your affiliate marketing business.

You can revisit these goals several times throughout the year to make a change.

Conclusion, and Future Guidance of Building an Affiliate Marketing Business. 

The affiliate marketing industry in 2020 is going to remain viable with more opportunities.

Given the number of active internet users growing, and people become more accustomed to making purchases online, the audience of prospective customers across every niche will grow.

More and more large corporations adopted affiliate marketing into business models to drive their growth in their e-commerce divisions.

 In which open more opportunity for affiliate marketers.

Lastly, we like to hear your opinion of whether building an affiliate marketing business in 2020 is viable or not? Please leave your feedback or comment below:

Thank you.

Free Affiliate Marketing Course

If you want to learn how to make money with Affiliate Marketing, l invite you to take up this free online course which also include a website for you to build up your online business.

  • Hi Chris, this is a practical and helpful article, thanks. I found the tips regarding making your website mobile friendly especially helpful, seen that it’s a vital point that one can miss quite easily. It surely will drive more traffic to one’s website. I’ve enjoyed reading the content of this article, thanks again!

    • Hey Ami,

      You’re welcomed. Making your website mobile-friendly is top of your agenda as it will drive traffic. More people are now using their handphone to make online shopping and searches.

      Best Regards

  • Hey nice article you have there, your thoughts are indeed invaluable. You have impacted me with this article and I  have learnt a whole lot from it. Making a website mobile friendly will definitely increase the traffic to that website because must people that usually search the internet are phone users. Doing everything possible to make my website mobile friend will definitely be effective towards engaging in Affiliate marketing

    • Hey,

      Thank you for your feedback. Nowadays, people trends to perform searches and online shopping with their smartphone. It is crucial to make sure that our website is mobile friendly, otherwise you will lost opportinuty to make a sale.


  • These are great tips. I have been working on Affiliate Marketing for almost three years now, and I wished I had a guide like this one back then, because I decided to start doing sites for myself (I work for a company) and this would have pushed me at least a year ago to start doing it for me, I would have been turning a profit right now.

    If you are looking to start, this is a great guide.

    • Hey Juan,

      Great to know that this article is helpful to you. Please visit our site more often as we always publish relevant articles. You can also subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss out any of our posts.

      To your success:

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