The ultimate guide to affiliate marketing in 2024

9 min


The affiliate marketing is growing every year, and with it, the number of those willing to try their hand at it is also increasing.

Many beginners face the challenge of finding limited information on how to set up affiliate marketing business online, without wasting time and money. That’s why we have decided to write the most comprehensive and detailed affiliate marketing tutorial for the year 2024.

Here, we will address the choice of affiliate programs, discuss the best of them in various niches, provide examples of the best affiliate networks, and offer eight valuable tips to ensure your success in affiliate marketing.

Read this article to the end, especially if you are a beginner — we promise it will be interesting and useful, if you want to know the best ways to do affiliate marketing.

The ultimate guide to affiliate marketing in 2024
Many beginners face the challenge of finding limited information on how to set up affiliate marketing business online. Image: LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Types of affiliate marketing

There are three main types of affiliate marketing: unattached, related, and involved. You have to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each category to choose the right approach for your business.

White Arbitrage

A method in which a webmaster uses common and publicly accepted methods to attract users, permitted in affiliate programs. Offers do not mislead the client, and the affiliate program does not prohibit methods of attracting users. An example is regular goods (for home, clothing, shoes). They can be found in any affiliate program.

Black Arbitrage

This method involves illegal ways of attracting customers. Offers deceive the user and are used for stealing personal data, paid subscriptions to services, promoting and selling prohibited goods and services.

Grey Arbitrage

A middle ground between white and black hat arbitrage. Where is the line drawn? A webmaster uses various tricks to bypass the prohibitions of an affiliate program or offer. The main difference between gray arbitrage and black lies in the offers that are not allowed to be promoted on popular advertising platforms, so marketers resort to tricks to bypass moderation.

In addition, when discussing traffic arbitrage, two strategies are highlighted. The first strategy is traffic reselling, where the arbitrator buys traffic at one price and resells it at a higher price.

The second strategy is attracting traffic through content. For example, through posts in a Telegram channel or posting videos on YouTube. This strategy is suitable for people who already have an audience on one of the social networks or on their own website.

Knowing types of affiliate marketing will help you to choose the most appropriate one for yourself or for your business. 

Choosing an affiliate program

In traffic arbitrage, new affiliate programs regularly emerge, and not all of them operate fairly and pay on time. That’s where our ultimate guide steps in. Let’s start by understanding what an affiliate program is.

An affiliate program is a collaboration between a supplier and an intermediary who is willing to find buyers for them. The seller, who has an offer, acts as the advertiser. This could be a physical product, a service, online courses, casino games, and so on.

Choosing the wrong affiliate program can result in wasted time, inconvenient work, and, in the worst cases, scams and lost money. To ensure that you get the best ways to do affiliate marketing, here are some tips for choosing a platform.

Choose your vertical

Beginners often make the same mistake — they ignore crucial steps in affiliate marketing: grab the first vertical they come across, lose money, become disillusioned and quit. To avoid this, pay attention to three criteria when choosing a niche:

  • Personal interest: it’s preferable to choose a niche you understand or are eager to learn about.
  • Relevance: the niche should be in demand; otherwise, you won’t be able to sell the product/service.
  • Profitable GEOs: it might be too difficult to break into niches with complex GEOs; you’ll have to compete with experienced marketers and teams with very high budgets. Start with the CIS countries, Southeast Asia, and South America. There’s plenty of traffic there, and it’s much cheaper, with lower competition.

At the beginning, it’s better to choose one niche to drive traffic to. This will make it easier to narrow down your search and select a service that promotes offers in that niche. You can get your guide in affiliate marketing niches online.

If you don’t like it, you can switch to another vertical later on.

Consider your traffic sources

Learning new traffic sources from scratch is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, but necessary when you set up an affiliate marketing business. It’s advisable to choose a type of advertising for promotion that you have worked with before or can quickly master.

If you already know how to drive traffic through a specific source, it’s more effective to choose a vertical and affiliate program that aligns with it.

Additionally, you can leverage your existing resources. For example, if you run a YouTube channel with streams, you can promote offers related to esports betting or join gaming affiliate networks.

Find affiliate networks

Four sources are suitable for finding affiliate programs:

  • Search engines: you can search for affiliate programs through Google, but there’s a risk of encountering scams or platforms with a bad reputation.
  • Rating websites: there are online resources that gather and sort affiliate platforms, providing ratings based on popularity. You can sort them, read reviews, and get insights. Do not go far — try ratings on Rateme Up.
  • Webmaster forums: arbitrage specialists and representatives of affiliate programs communicate on thematic forums such as Searchengines, Maultalk and Mastertalk. They discuss various offers, share information about new networks, and exchange personal experiences.
  • Advertisements: pay attention to platform advertisements, including contextual advertising. Services actively developing often purchase it and may offer pleasant bonuses to professionals.

Alongside forums, rating websites are the most reliable source of information about affiliate programs. They feature honest reviews with screenshots, and webmasters can find comments from affiliates in marketing who respond to questions and share updates.

Examine reviews on affiliate networks

To avoid questionable affiliate networks, be sure to read reviews. Forums and rating websites are suitable for this, and you can also search for information using search engines.

In addition to reviews, many websites provide ratings that give a general idea of the platform. One or two stars may indicate a risk, while four or five stars suggest a good option for collaboration.

Also, consider the ratio of negative to positive reviews. If there are no negative reviews at all, and positive reviews lack specific details, there’s a 99% chance of manipulation. A good affiliate network doesn’t delete negative reviews but always responds politely and tries to resolve the issue.

Choose an offer

Now, in the selected vertical, when you get your guide in affiliate marketing, you need to find an offer on which you can earn. To avoid wasting your advertising budget and ensure profitability, follow these tips:

  • Define the target audience of the offer (gender, age, interests): understand who would be interested in the product to build an effective advertising campaign.
  • Acquire traffic in a way that costs less than the earnings from the affiliate program: often such details become apparent only through practice, but you can get an approximate idea of earnings from the platform’s statistics.
  • Be prepared for initially accessible offers with low payouts and simple conversions: affiliate networks often start with lower payout and straightforward conversion offers to assess the quality of traffic. If the test run is successful, you can gain access to private offers with more favorable conditions.
The ultimate guide to affiliate marketing in 2024
Be prepared for initially accessible offers with low payouts and simple conversions. Image: Karolina Grabowska

Best affiliate networks by niches

After choosing your niche, it’s time to select the appropriate affiliate network. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of companies offering similar services, and all of them promise the best ways to do affiliate marketing for everyone. We’ve gathered plenty of them and categorized affiliate networks by niches in this ultimate guide for your convenience.

Dating

The dating market is vast, and the demand for online dating remains consistently high. Dating rightfully falls into the top three verticals for webmasters, alongside health and finance. Here are the top affiliate networks for dating in 2024:

  1. Eharmony
  2. Cupid Media
  3. JDate
  4. Match.com
  5. LoveRevenue

While competition in this niche is inevitably high, it is offset by the potential for significant profits with a well-thought-out strategy.

Finance

The second category in the “big three”. Beginners often avoid this niche, thinking it has too much competition and requires specific knowledge. However, starting in this niche is possible, especially with the following affiliate programs:

  1. OpenAff
  2. Coinbase
  3. Binance
  4. YNAB
  5. Empower

Financial affiliate networks offer a vast array of offers, from trading platforms to debit cards and cryptocurrencies, making it suitable for various specialists.

Gambling

Gambling is one of the stable verticals, always having offers, profits, and hundreds of affiliate networks actively seeking affiliates in marketing. Here are some notable names:

  1. Betsson
  2. BitStarz
  3. Bet 365
  4. Ace Revenue
  5. Casumo

While this vertical offers stability, it also comes with its challenges, such as legal restrictions in some countries. Caution is advised to avoid getting banned and losing money when dealing with traffic in such cases.

Nutra

A niche in the “Health” category, stable and popular despite a slight decline in 2023. With tens of thousands of offers, developed affiliate networks, and high profits, it provides an ideal environment for a skilled marketer. Some prominent networks include:

  1. TerraLeads
  2. CrakRevenue
  3. Performcb
  4. Olavivo
  5. ClickDealer

Forecasts suggest that by 2024, the market for dietary supplements alone will reach $278.02 billion. Considering that Nutra promotes other offers as well, it represents an enormous market.

E-commerce

In today’s reality, affiliate marketing steps into nearly every type of e-commerce. Here are five affiliate networks in this sector:

  1. Tune
  2. Affise
  3. LeadDyno
  4. ShareASale
  5. ClickBank

Through affiliate marketing you can sell practically anything, and this statement is particularly true in this vertical, where you can find a wide range of products from small home appliances to gifts and souvenirs.

The ultimate guide to affiliate marketing in 2024
After choosing your niche, it’s time to select the appropriate affiliate network. Image: Kindel Media

8 tips for successful affiliate marketing

Many successful solutions come to affiliates with experience. However, if you want to avoid critical mistakes when you set up an affiliate marketing business, it’s always helpful to listen to the opinions of those who have been in the market for a long time.

Despite the uniqueness of each specialist’s experience, affiliate marketing operates for everyone based on the same principles. In our ultimate guide we gathered eight tips on how to be successful in this field.

Develop your strategy

In any form of marketing, it’s always crucial to develop a strategy. Before launching a campaign, it needs to be viewed from both the product owner’s and customer’s perspectives.

Experience gives you the opportunity to look at the campaign from all sides — from choosing the offer to its promotion, what to do if my campaign fails, and so on.

Understand the product and the audience

If you want to be a successful affiliate marketer, you must understand your audience, their preferences, and the values that products address. 

Be a researcher to fully understand the needs of the people whom you sell to — this is crucial for every type of marketing.

Be patient

Most beginners fail because they give up too quickly. They find their niche, create a few blog posts, place affiliate links, and hope to make a profit.

They forget that it’s necessary to gain the trust of their customers, find the best products to promote, and so on. That’s why so many beginners can’t even earn $100 a month. Like any other serious business, affiliate marketing takes time.

If you already know how to sell online, it will be easier for you, but newcomers may need up to a year to start making decent money. Be patient and don’t give up in the first three months.

There are thousands of inspiring success stories in traffic arbitrage that can provide you with motivation. For example, one marketer created a website about gardening tools and, within just a few years, sold it for $250,000! Read more about this case right here, we’ve shared all the details.

Work for results

Don’t treat affiliate marketing as a hobby or a side job. If you want to make a living from it, you must fully dedicate yourself to it.

Always remember: “What you do from 9 to 5 determines your future.” So decide what you want to achieve. Depending on how much you are willing to commit to your business, you can scale up and earn several thousand dollars every month.

Be consistent

If you want to succeed as an affiliate in marketing, learn to be consistent. You can’t work sporadically and expect super profits. That surely won’t yield any results.

Maintain momentum. At the beginning, set small goals for yourself (for example, ten sales per week). Reward yourself every time you achieve these small goals. This way, you will be consistent.

The ultimate guide to affiliate marketing in 2024
If you want to succeed as an affiliate in marketing, learn to be consistent. Image: Mikhail Nilov

Utilize company resources

Most companies offering different types of affiliate marketing partnerships will do everything possible to provide you with materials to promote their product.

These could be sample ad texts, webinars, or a brief product roadmap. Use them, because, in the end, no one knows the product better than its creators.

By spending a little time studying, you’ll gain valuable information about the product, making its promotion much easier. Even better – find out if someone from the company can collaborate with you on a virtual event for your audience: a webinar, podcast, or live social media broadcast.

Show your results

Social proof is the most powerful factor for an affiliate in marketing. Showcase your results if you want to receive exclusive offers.

If you can demonstrate the true potential of the product to users, they will strive to get it. That’s why showing your results always works. It not only helps you gain immediate trust but also increases the overall volume of sales or other desired actions.

Don’t violate your agreements

Each affiliate program has its terms, rules, and conditions. Make sure you follow them, or you’ll get into trouble. Ensure you have read and understood what you can and cannot do.

Not every affiliate marketing tutorial will tell you this, but it’s very important, because term violation leads the marketer to profit and job loss.

The ultimate guide to affiliate marketing in 2024
Social proof is the most powerful factor for an affiliate in marketing. Image: Tima Miroshnichenko

Conclusion

There are no 100% profitable solutions in affiliate marketing. It is not a job for everyone and not a get-rich-quick method. Our ultimate guide proves it.

It takes patience to gain the audience’s trust, persistence to see things through even if you don’t see desired results immediately, and most importantly, a strong desire to help people overcome difficulties and achieve their goals.

If you believe you have all the necessary skills and tools, understanding affiliate marketing can be a profitable addition to your primary business.

Use our affiliate marketing tutorial and you will have all the tools you need for getting an efficient and profitable job.

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RateMeUp Team

We’re not just a group of anonymous affiliate marketing experts; we’re a close-knit team that’s been working together for over a decade. Our journey began at the inception of this industry, where we laid the foundation for the very first verticals. If you’ve ever been intrigued by traffic arbitrage case studies, chances are you’ve already come across our work.