How To Start Affiliate Marketing Business

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

We are in the age of digital revolution where the traditional business as usual approach is rapidly changing. The good thing here is that the traditional gatekeepers are not in your way, so you can start a business online such as affiliate marketing with literally no social capital a.k.a “connections” requirement. But beware that there are new gatekeepers in the digital space. We will explore this in another blog. This blog is an extensive breakdown of all you need to start your affiliate marketing business.

Looking for new income streams? Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make money online. Even if you have an existing business, affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to add another income stream to your business.  The result you get from this blog is to actually have a blueprint to start today.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a way for you to earn a commission for recommending products or services to your friends, family, network, work colleagues or even strangers who come across your recommendation. When they buy, the seller pays you a commission. Here are 5 steps to start your affiliate marketing business; 

  • Step 1: Carry out your extensive research
  • Step 2: Product clarity – Define which products you will market
  • Step 3: Build up and infrastructure
  • Step 4: Present the products
  • Step 5: Promotion 

Step 1: Carry out your extensive research

To start an affiliate marketing business you will need to do extensive research on companies that will be open to engage affiliate marketers like you and in your region because not all companies sell to where you stay. And not all companies offer an affiliate program. Come up with a list of 10 companies that you will like to promote their product and earn doing so. 

Research to know which products/services in your target area will sell. Remember that you can sell globally because affiliate marketing is an online business. Google is your friend in this regard – do the GTS “Google That Shit” thing, ask people, read reviews to know the companies that pay their affiliate marketers well without stress.  So your action to do now is to come up with about 20 different products you can start promoting. 

What kind of companies are you looking for? 

While some companies require that an affiliate has a website, a vast majority encourage people who do not have a website to use their social media accounts. With this practically everyone can go into affiliate marketing business. Your goal should be to find companies that have an online store where they sell products or services.  These companies want to have traffic directed to their platforms or sites. You should be sure that the company you are looking for delivers promptly and offers a good commission.

4 Affiliate marketing programs in Nigeria

Here are 4 companies that Nigerian affiliate marketers can start with –  Jumiang, Cartrollers, Konga, wakanow. To get more companies, research can be done online and also make sure to write to the company of your choice to ask if they have a program. Research can also be done on google and you will see a list of companies where you can register. Was that not easy? This action should take you at most 2 days to accomplish!

Step 2: Product clarity – Define which products you will market

With affiliate marketing there are a wide variety of products you can market ranging from webinars, to products on ecommerce sites, to travel packages, hairs, food etc. You are basically showcasing the products the company is selling, however, you have to choose a category that pays higher as most companies have different rates for different categories. With this affiliate marketing, you can work with various companies without breaking a sweat while making money from multiple streams.

Choose your niche

You have to choose a niche that is very profitable. The most profitable niches in affiliate marketing are software and digital products. Every niche is profitable however some are more profitable than others and software is one one such as most software companies have lower overhead than physical product companies as one software can serve a vast number of customers without much cost other than your server cost unlike product companies where every time you produce one you are starting from scratch and expending finance and materials. As a result of this softwares and digital products pay more (30-40%)

Step 3: Build up and infrastructure

After the whole hussle of researching and understanding who you will sell to. The next logical step now is to send your applications to the companies and develop the strategy to promote the products. Because it is only if you promote and sell you earn. The application process is basically free, as you basically are required to fill the form and click the “submit” link.

Choose your strategy – blog, YouTube, Facebook

You can develop your own blog website and push that. Very easy, believe me. Now there are drag and drop tools you can use like WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace and many more. So you do not need programming or coding skills anymore. Say goodbye to website developers. And remember that this is the most sustainable way to go because when you start making money, there are many other ways to generate money from your own blog website which I will share in videos on my Youtube channel. Here are free YouTube tutorials that can actually show you how to do this easily. 

Link to the free tutorials: 


You can create and launch a youtube channel. This is very easy to do. All you need is a gmail account on google. A third platform you can build is to develop a facebook group for your affiliate business. But be carefull, you want to develop a group that will give value so that many people will join the group right?

Now let’s get your next todo clear. Choose which of these 3 platforms you want to start with – blog website, youtube channel or facebook group. Remember that after you have your platform, go back to your affiliate dashboard at the company platform and generate the links to the products or services you want to sell, because it is that link that actually tells the company that someone bought through you. 

Step 4: Present the products

Start producing value to attract customers to buy

After creating your platforms, you need to publish content that will attract customers. Do not mistake this activity with promotion. We will get a promotion. The goal here is to make people see the links, the products and services you are promoting right? So produce content that will attract them to want to know more and end up buying. So here is your first 6 content you must produce to start off and have a foundation to go to the next step which is promotion. 

6 must produce to attract buyers

  1. About you. Introduce yourself. don’t let it be boring though. People want to connect with a lively and authentic person. 
  2. Comparison video – compare the product you want  them to buy and a less good one. So you make your score higher. 
  3. About the product or service you want them to buy.  More on the features and usability. 
  4. How the product or service saved your life. Funny, right, but hope you get what I mean. 
  5. How to use the product and service. Include top xxx reasons why to use the product/service. 
  6. Create a product/Service review

Wao you see that there is much content to give value and make people really interested in the product/Services. Now your action is to create 6 content for your platform. Remember to also read our blogs on online selling. 

Tips for content

  1. Use video, pictures and text content. 
  2. Use your smartphone to make videos. Check my video on presentation. Always have the products and services you are selling visible. If it is like a digital product, at least look for a way to make it visible from time to time on the video.
  3. Show yourself using the product or service if possible.
  4. If you start out with our own blog website, you must consider learning how to optimize the blog website for Google to find it when someone types in something similar to what you are selling. This skill is called SEO – Search engine Optimisation. You can watch this video to learn more about it if you are interested.

Step 5: promotion

Consistent content push-out is your first tool to get traffic and interested buyers. You can publish blogs on your blog website if you choose that platform, but at least 2-3 times a week. There are best practices to blogging – read my blog on this topic to help you. Your blog could be on any topic as long as it is a topic that will grab the attention of your page visitors. 

You can also do product reviews as this is one way to draw attention to the product you intend to promote and through this you can easily input a link that customers can click to purchase the item. You can post in young facebook groups consistently. Facebook will need at least one good post per day.  You can vlog (videos blogging) on your youtube channel at least 2 times a week. 

Use email list to promote

Now your next goal is to gather people’s email addresses and telephone numbers so that you can build your own marketing list. So make sure to include a space for people to drop in their email on your blog website. Post links of your email listing subscription on facebook group and under each video in your youtube. How do I get an email list subscription link if I do not have a blog website? Go to mailchimp to find out how to do this. Mailchimp is a newsletter platform and is free. You will have the ability to create your own audience and develop emails for them. So you can get your own subscription links to share. 

Connect with the company and make your dedicated coupons

At the end of the day, when you stay in touch with the company you are selling their products/service, you will receive new updates about the product you are selling. You should immediately design your own newsletter or email and push out to your audience. You can also develop digital coupons from the company’s platforms and send them to your audience. In affiliate marketing, you can rely on coupons to let your customers get a discount offer and a great deal on a particular product. The amazing thing is that as long as you help people save some money, they are going to keep coming back. At least one email per week is good. 

Social media is a powerful promotion tool

You can direct traffic from social media to your platforms. You can generate traffic by first identifying who your target audience is, what they do, what they like, are they educated etc. For instance if you are promoting headphones you should know that your target audience is 1. Mostly males 2. Between ages 16-35 3. They are students or graduates. 4. Unmarried etc. Knowing this will help you when you are running facebook and instagram ads, as you will be asked to choose your target population. Learn more about customer research and data

Pay for traffic to your platform 

So all of the above promotion methods we talked about so far are more of organic traffic because you do not pay for it. The traffic comes because you are putting our valuable content that people want to consume. Now, there is an option to pay for traffic if you have the money. But I guess you want to start a low cost business, so paying for traffic might not be your best bet at the beginning. However, here is a quick guide on how to pay for traffic.  

Google and youtube are the best platforms to pay for traffic because they are the 2 largest search engines in the world and owned by the same cooperation. Visit Adwords on google to learn more on how to advertise your platform. Remember that paying for traffic is only good if you have your own blog website. So if you choose a youtube channel, simply pay to promote the video to the target audience. If you choose facebook, simple pay to advertise the group and content to the target audience. 

For affiliate marketing there really are no costs to be incurred by the affiliate marketer. This is one business you can start up without any capital whatsoever. Now you might be asking yourself if you can use all 3 platforms – have a blog, a youtube channel and a facebook group. Yes you can but you will need more time to invest in all 3 equally to make it work. If time is an issue for you, then pick one. Your action now is to list out all the promotion methods you will use.

Gears you need to start Affiliate marketing

A computer: You should have a laptop as this makes it easy for you to access the internet as using a mobile phone can be very tedious. You can get a new laptop for N80,000 and above while fairly used is N60,000

Internet: For you to do this business you need to have an active data plan. You can get data for as low as N100 for daily plans, N500 for weekly plans and N1000-3000 for monthly plans.

Gmail account: You should have an email account as this is the medium through which these companies will contact you and this is  very essential for internet marketing, digital marketing and so on. Although there are other email platforms, I advocate gmail because they have a wider reach.

Cloud Services: With this you can easily save up documents and work on your documents anywhere you are. There are so many paid platforms but it is advisable to work with google docs. Drive. Sheets etc as they are free.

Power bank: If you are based in Nigeria you will realise that you at one point in time would need a power bank as the power supply is epileptic at best.

A pen and journal: There is a saying that ‘the sharpest brain is duller than the sharpest pen’ no matter how eidetic your brain is you can remember every detail, this is why you need a journal. A journal not only helps you make plans and set goals, it also helps you capture your ideas.

A smartphone: This is very essential however, the fact that you are taking this course proves that you already have one.

Something to boost your creation process: You need to identify the environment in which you thrive, if it is a noisy place then you need to look for somewhere noisy and if it is a quiet place then you need a nice creative spot possibly a park, garden etc.

Overall Cost listing: 

  • Laptop (fairly used): N60,000
  • Internet: N3000
  • Gmail: Free
  • Cloud Service: Free upto 15Gb
  • Powerbank: N1500
  • A pen and Journal: N1000

Creative space: Free especially if you can work from home, a garden or a park

Total: N65,500

Bonus tip for step 1: Know who you want to sell to.

Let’s get to do another easy research that you will need to be able to move to the next step. Who are your customers? Those are the people like your friends, family, colleges, strangers you will showcase the product of the partnering company to and they buy. So it depends on the products you choose, you now begin to target the customers that will want that product. Make sure to choose a customer base that you can target. An affiliate marketing business is one of those low capital businesses that can be an avenue for large income generation. We will be doing a series on affordable business ideas you can start up. 

Get our app, stay in touch and lets help you develop your ideas

Still with the intention to provide more tools for you, we created our tailored all-in-one app to offer up-to-date knowledge, provide exposure for social entrepreneurs and offer coaching services. Get the app (Android version) here and for IOS users, a webapp version and IOS version is on its way, sign up for our newsletter here to know when it’s out and get the consistent ressources via email. If you need templates to develop your ideas, you can check our Joadre Tools. If you want to contact us, use our contact form or consult us  through the app. 

Thank you for reading to the end. 



I am Joana, a Nigerian-born Austrian-based entrepreneur and activist. Founded Joadre in 2012 and continue to develop content to engage and empower African SMEs.

The Joadre Analysis & Industry Journal

FREE Templates



What is SEO For A Digital Business?

SEO means Search Engine Optimization. If your digital business requires that people find you, you need to optimise your SEO.

How to get clients for your business. 

We often embark to look for new clients when we can build better relationships with the old clients. Do you know that old clients can send back customers to you? Do you know that old clients might purchase again if the service you offered previously was very good.

Essentiality Of Media Training For Entrepreneurs//Pt. 2

Media training is a set of communication skills designed to help people express themselves and tell their stories

Introducing my podcast “Activate by Joadre”

There is so much opportunities and prospects in Africa. I know this from my experience, my projects. Yes, the environment could be super challenging, but that’s even more reason to start developing your ideas now into a business to solve these problems. Remember that a problem is always the driver of a great business case. I shed more light on this topic in my business program.

2022 is Here! Let it be all about building Equity!

Think radical! Here's how to make 2022 become a revolutionary year. It is time to take ownership and build equity.