How to Create an Affiliate Link: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

SmallBizCRM Staff – May 16th, 2024



Affiliate marketing is a powerful way to generate income online by promoting products and services from other companies. As a beginner, you might feel overwhelmed by creating affiliate links. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to create affiliate links and earn commissions.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing involves promoting products or services and earning a commission for every sale or lead generated through your unique affiliate link. Companies provide affiliates with these links to track traffic and sales from their promotional efforts. It’s a win-win situation: businesses get more exposure and sales, while affiliates earn a portion of the revenue.

The Basics of an Affiliate Link

An affiliate link is a unique URL provided by an affiliate program that tracks the traffic and sales driven by the affiliate. When someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. These links often include a unique identifier or tracking code to ensure sales are attributed to the correct affiliate.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Affiliate Links

Step 1: Choose an Affiliate Program

The first step in creating an affiliate link is to join an affiliate program. There are several types of programs to consider:

  • Individual Brand Programs: Many companies run affiliate programs. For example, Amazon, Walmart, and Shopify offer programs that you can join.
  • Affiliate Networks: These platforms host multiple affiliate programs from various companies. Popular networks include ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, and Rakuten Marketing.

When choosing an affiliate program, consider the following factors:

  • Relevance: Ensure the products or services align with your niche or audience.
  • Commission Rate: Look at the percentage or flat fee you earn per sale.
  • Cookie Duration: This refers to how long the tracking cookie lasts. Longer durations can increase your chances of earning a commission.

Step 2: Sign Up for the Program

Once you’ve chosen an affiliate program, you need to sign up. This process typically involves:

  • Filling Out an Application: Provide information about yourself and your website or promotional channels.
  • Approval: Some programs approve affiliates instantly, while others may take a few days to review your application.

Step 3: Access Your Affiliate Dashboard

After being accepted into the program, you’ll gain access to an affiliate dashboard. This dashboard contains your unique affiliate links, promotional materials, and performance analytics. Familiarize yourself with the dashboard, as it will be your main tool for managing your affiliate marketing efforts.

Step 4: Generate Your Affiliate Link

Generating an affiliate link is usually straightforward. Here’s a general process:

  1. Find the Product: Browse the affiliate dashboard for the product or service you want to promote.
  2. Create the Link: Most affiliate programs have a simple link creation tool. Here’s how it typically works:
    • Select the Product: Click on the product you want to promote.
    • Generate the Link: Use the link generation tool the affiliate program provides. This will create a unique URL with your affiliate ID or tracking code.

For example, in Amazon Associates:

  • Search for the product in the Amazon Associates dashboard.
  • Click on “Get Link” to generate your unique affiliate link.

Step 5: Shorten Your Link (Optional)

Affiliate links can often be long and unwieldy. Using a link shortener can make them more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Tools like Bitly, TinyURL, or Pretty Links (for WordPress users) can help you create shorter, branded URLs.

Step 6: Promote Your Affiliate Link

Now that you have your affiliate link, it’s time to promote it. There are several effective ways to do this:

  • Content Marketing: Write blog posts, reviews, or tutorials that incorporate your affiliate links naturally. Ensure your content provides value and isn’t overly promotional.
  • Social Media: Share your links on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Make sure to follow the platform’s guidelines regarding affiliate links.
  • Email Marketing: Include your affiliate links in your email newsletters or campaigns. Ensure your emails are informative and provide value to your subscribers.
  • YouTube: Create content such as unboxings, reviews, or tutorials mentioning your affiliate products. Include the affiliate link in the video description.

Step 7: Disclose Your Affiliate Links

Transparency is crucial in affiliate marketing. Always disclose your affiliate links to your audience. This is a legal requirement in many jurisdictions and builds trust with your audience. A simple statement like “This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you” is sufficient.

Step 8: Track Your Performance

Regularly monitor the performance of your affiliate links through your affiliate dashboard. Most programs provide detailed analytics, including:

  • Clicks: The number of times your links have been clicked.
  • Conversions: The number of sales or leads generated from your links.
  • Earnings: Your total commissions earned.

Analyzing this data helps you understand what’s working and what needs improvement. You can experiment with different strategies and optimize your promotional efforts based on your findings.

Tips for Successful Affiliate Marketing

  1. Choose Quality Products: Promote products that you genuinely believe in and offer value to your audience. Your credibility is crucial, and promoting low-quality products can harm your reputation.
  2. Understand Your Audience: Know your audience’s needs and preferences. Tailor your promotions to match their interests and solve their problems.
  3. Provide Value: Focus on creating high-quality content that provides value to your audience. Whether it’s a blog post, video, or social media post, ensure it’s informative and engaging.
  4. Be Patient: Affiliate marketing takes time. Be patient and persistent. Consistently create valuable content and promote your links strategically.


Creating affiliate links is a fundamental step in starting your affiliate marketing journey. By choosing the right affiliate program, generating your unique links, and promoting them effectively, you can begin to earn commissions and build a sustainable online income stream. Remember to disclose your links, track your performance, and continuously provide value to your audience. With dedication and strategic planning, affiliate marketing can be a rewarding and profitable endeavour.

Recommended Products

Post Affiliate Pro: Post Affiliate Pro is closely followed by Post Affiliate Pro, a versatile affiliate tracking software trusted by businesses of all sizes. Its intuitive interface simplifies the process of managing affiliates, tracking conversions, and optimizing performance. With features like multi-level marketing, custom commission structures, and real-time reporting, Post Affiliate Pro facilitates the construction and scalability of successful affiliate programs. Try for Free


ConvertKit: At the forefront stands ConvertKit, a robust email marketing platform seamlessly integrating with affiliate programs. Its intuitive interface and automation prowess empower marketers to nurture leads and effortlessly engage with affiliates. From crafting personalized email campaigns to monitoring performance metrics, ConvertKit furnishes a comprehensive toolkit tailored to amplify your affiliate marketing pursuits. the forefront stands ConvertKit, a robust email marketing platform seamlessly integrating with affiliate programs. Its intuitive interface and automation prowess empower marketers to nurture leads and effortlessly engage with affiliates. From crafting personalized email campaigns to monitoring performance metrics, ConvertKit furnishes a comprehensive toolkit tailored to amplify your affiliate marketing pursuits. Watch the demo or sign up for free.


PartnerStack: Enter PartnerStack, the epitome of partner relationship management platforms engineered to fuel growth through strategic partnerships. With automated partner onboarding, performance tracking, and revenue attribution, PartnerStack streamlines affiliate relationship management. Whether you’re a SaaS company, e-commerce retailer, or digital agency, PartnerStack equips you with the necessary tools to cultivate fruitful partnerships and propel revenue growth.



LeadDyno: In affiliate tracking software, LeadDyno emerges as a stalwart, catering to the diverse needs of businesses across various industries. Simplifying the complexities of running an affiliate program, LeadDyno facilitates tracking affiliate referrals, managing commissions, and streamlining payouts. Its advanced features, such as social media sharing and customizable affiliate portals, empower businesses to expand their reach and optimize ROI through affiliate marketing endeavours.



LearnWorlds: Reach the pinnacle with LearnWorlds, a premier online course platform fortified with built-in affiliate marketing capabilities. Educators and content creators harness LearnWorlds to seamlessly create, market, and sell online courses while leveraging the power of affiliate partnerships. With customizable landing pages and automated affiliate payouts, LearnWorlds provides a seamless avenue for monetizing educational content and driving affiliate-generated revenue. Try For Free.