My guide to getting started with affiliate marketing

Some articles on EmmaDrew.Info may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy.

How I Earned Over £5,000 a Month From Affiliate Marketing

If you have read any of my income reports then you will know that I am earning thousands of pounds a month, passively, from the use of affiliate links. When I first started my online income reports, I was making £581.59 per month from affiliate marketing. At the highest point I have made £5,195 in just one month from affiliate marketing. If you have been interested in starting affiliate marketing, then here is my affiliate marketing guide.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a really simple idea – you find a product or service that you like and rate highly and you earn a commission when a sale is achieved as a result of your promotion of that product or service. The company are happy to pay you a percentage of the sale to thank you for introducing a new customer to them

It is really important that you promote products that you have used yourself and that you like. Your readers are coming to your blog to read about you and your experiences and they trust your endorsement. Your readers have built a rapport with you and they will be able to tell if you don't genuinely like, use or trust a product or service.

The benefits of affiliate marketing

There are so many fantastic benefits of affiliate marketing, the biggest for me is the passive income that I can earn from affiliate marketing. By this I mean income that I don't have to actively work to achieve. With over 600 blog posts, I have lots of posts that receive daily traffic and generate a sale. I wrote those blog posts once, and bar popping back to update the information every year or so, I don't have to do much else. That income keeps trickling in whilst I'm sleeping, out shopping, on holiday or even if I am working!

Emma Drew affiliate marketing guide

Another fantastic benefit is that you don't have to rely on selling one product that you have created yourself, or that you have bought in to resell. You don't have to lay out any money by purchasing stock, you don't have to parcel any items or deal with returns. All you need to do is place relevant affiliate links into your blog posts and then continue promoting the blog posts like you normally do! There's no extra work involved apart from getting the link!

Affiliate earnings are uncapped – you aren't tied down to promoting just one product, service or company. You can sign up to as many affiliate programs as you want and promote products wherever they fit well into your blog. There are so many examples of how this can work, from a parenting blogger promoting a book their child is loving to a thrifty blogger promoting a sale. There are also plenty of ways to promote affiliate links  – they can be shared on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to reach more potential customers and increase sales.

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How to get started

There are a few ways to get involved with affiliate marketing. Some companies keep their affiliate marketing in house and can often be found by searching the internet for “company name affiliate program” or you can join a company who oversee a whole lot of affiliate programs. I use a mixture of both.

You will need to have an established blog, website or social media channels as many programs require this information during the application process. If you don't have a website then I've put together a guide to making your own WordPress website.

You will also need to have a rough idea of what you will be promoting so you know which programs would be relevant to you and which ones are worth applying for.

Below I have listed a handful of my favourite affiliate programs, as well as details on getting started with them.

How to SMASH Affiliate Marketing as a UK Blogger

Too often we see American bloggers making 5 figures in affiliate income every month, but replicating that as a UK Blogger might seem impossible.

I have put together all of my affiliate marketing secrets into one place for you, in How To SMASH Affiliate Marketing as a UK Blogger. In this video and text course I cover everything from which affiliate programs to join to how to get over that fear of emailing your list.

AWIN affiliate marketing guide

AWIN is the UK's largest affiliate marketing website, and it is easy to see why. With 2,100 advertisers on their platform and supporting 75,000 other publishers, you can find everything you need to get started.

Registering at Affiliate Window is really easy. During the registration process you will need to make a £5 deposit – this is automatically added to your Affiliate Window balance and will become payable once you meet the minimum payment threshold.

Click here to see my full Awin tutorial.

Amazon Associates

Amazon is by far the biggest online retailer, so being an Amazon Associate is a great way to boost your affiliate marketing income. The Amazon tracking cookies last for 24 hours. This means that if you wrote a review about a product and the reader clicked through to Amazon and went on to purchase anything from Amazon (not just the item you linked to) within 24 hours, you will make commission. You can also use a clever little trick to increase the cookie tracking to 90 days. You can earn anything from 1% – 10% of any sales you generate which makes this an ideal program to sign up to.

In order to register you will need to have a  website which meets the following criteria set by Amazon:

  • The website is functional and has value-added content that can drive incremental purchases on Amazon
  • You are in compliance with the Amazon Associates Operating Agreement
  • You have a valid phone number and bank account that can receive direct deposits. You will need to provide this payment information during the application process.

Completing the application is easy, once completed Amazon will review your application and send you a confirmation email telling you whether you have been accepted into the program. If you haven't then they will also tell you why your application wasn't successful.

Click here to see my full Amazon Associates tutorial.


If you are looking for a simple, fuss-free way to add affiliate links to your website or blog then Skimlinks is for you. Note that you cannot use Skimlinks on social media accounts.

When you register at Skimlinks you get instant access to over 20,000 affiliate programs without the hassle of having to sign up for individual programs. This means that you aren't waiting around for approval from merchants and you don't need to go to the hassle of creating affiliate links. It really is a great place to start if time is against you. Skimlinks will automatically turn any existing links into affiliate links where they have an advertiser on board.

Skimlinks is the best affiliate program to join if you want to just spend some time setting it up and then get back to blogging. Is is fuss-free and takes no time out of your blogging schedule to set up affiliate links.

Registering is simple and if you have more than one website then you can add them onto your account too, therefore increasing your earning potential.

Click here for my full Skimlinks tutorial.

Finding other affiliate programs to join

If there is a product or a service that you really enjoy using then search to see if they have an affiliate program. Some companies keep their affiliate schemes in house and you can visit their website and look for an affiliate link (usually in the footer) or search the internet for the company name and “affiliate program”. If you can't see an affiliate scheme then don't be shy about reaching out to them and asking if they run any scheme – and if they don't, ask if they would like to! My most successful affiliate program is promoting something that I am passionate about, and they keep their affiliate marketing in house.

Pretty Link

I am now using the pro version of this plugin but the free version takes an affiliate link and makes them pretty. Using Pretty Link means that I can change affiliate links into links starting with my blog – for example,  The pro version comes with some added bonuses, but the free lite version is fantastic too. Click here to get Pretty Link.

Disclosing affiliate links

You will need to disclose that you use affiliate links on your website and there are a number of ways that you can do this. To find out more about disclosing affiliate links, check out this great article at Bonjour Blogger.
I really hope that you have found this post useful. If there are any other affiliate schemes that you would like me to cover then let me know in the comments below.
How I Earned Over £5,000 a Month From Affiliate Marketing



31 Comments on “My guide to getting started with affiliate marketing”

  1. I love the merchants they have on their platform – everything I need from cashback websites to Disney holidays!

  2. You’ve done it again Emma, another fantastic post!! It’s so easy to see why your site is as successful as it is!

  3. Great post Emma! Found you through Bloglovin, and will definitely be subscribing! I am signed up to affiliate window but didn’t know about the convert a link option. Genius! Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more posts from you ?.

    1. Glad you’ve found convert-a-link – it takes a few minutes to install and could really help to boost your earnings!

  4. Great post ,wonderfully written.
    I have been working with Affiliate Window and they are great.
    I didn’t knew about Skimlinks.Thanks for sharing the info with us.

  5. I am already using adsense & amazon. I’ve not earned very much so far as my blog is small, but I am working on it.
    I am going to give affiliate window a go and see what happens.
    Thank you for this great guide.

  6. Hi Emma – thanks so much for this post., and your others. I’ve found your blog recently and your helpful articles have been very inspiring.
    I’m already with Amazon and Affiliate Window, but had not been using Create-a-link, which I think will save me a lot of time. I have just signed up with Skimlinks on your recommendation. I’ve got a couple of questions which I was wondering if you’ve got the answer to please?
    If a merchant appears on both Skimlinks and Affiliate Window does both Skimlinks and Create-a-link work? Or do they get confused? I presume they don’t both pay commission (!)
    If you use create-a-link in Affiliate Window, why do you still use the deep-link builder?
    Any thoughts on this? Many thanks Karen

    1. Hi Karen,

      Only one link will work – I believe that if you used link builder from AF then that will overtake the Skimlinks link. As for convert-a-link, the problem is that when you use it, it automatically applies to programs for you. If you wrote a great post with lots of great links to a merchant on a Monday, and their affiliate manager didn’t approve you til say Thursday, you’ll have lost out on any sales between Mon-Thurs. So if you know you’re going to be writing about a merchant, apply before you publsh the post if you can.

  7. What a great article! Totally comprehensive and easy to read, I love it. This is definitely something I’m thinking about and the skimlinks looks nice and easy for a lazy one like me! Thank you!


  8. Hi Emma,

    Great post. Just signed up for Affiliate Window. If I have create-a-link installed, then I don’t need to manually find and add the affiliate links right? Even for new blog posts?

    It just might take a while to be approved? Do they approve straight away sometimes?


  9. Thank you for this post, really helpful especially explaining how to use each option! Because if this post I’ve already managed to join one of the companies you suggested. 🙂

  10. Great article! Thank you for sharing this information. I was wondering what are the legal obligations as an affiliate marketer in the UK? Is there any regulatory body we need to comply prior publishing our work in the UK? Also, do we need to pay taxes to this kind of job?

  11. Great article Emma, really useful. I’ve only ever used Amazon affiliate, and done very little with it. I must look into this more closely. Cna I ask, what is ‘Mediavine’ which appears at the bottom of your adverts? Thanks for your help, I could spend days on your site!

  12. Fabulous article yet again. I love your Blog Emma – thank you!

    Will put some of it in practice straight away.

    Just a personal preference: I much prefer when links open in a new Window!

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