Affiliate Marketing Skills – Five Skills You Need To Get Started


Hello everyone, Harvey here. In this post I want to cover what you will need to start developing your online business to be successful. I will not cover the variety of skills that it takes to own and manage your own business, that would take several pages and probably frustrate you before you have even started. The reality, however, is that when you get into affiliate marketing you have actually started a business and will require help in traveling up the learning curve to acquire skills that you may not have.

When I decided to try affiliate marketing, I had started my own brick and mortar business some 30 plus years prior, and I had learned the hard way just what it takes to make a business a success and the necessity of marketing. I have to tell you that there are no elevators to the top. Whatever the nature of business we all have to take the stairs.

Throughout my life I loved writing and throughout my career I had opportunities to do that by preparing planning documents, writing technical reports, policies and correspondence, so I knew how to write. The overall process at Wealthy Affiliate is similar you prepare an outline, research topic, write content, submit or publish.

Reading technical and specific type documents is not for everyone. They do not read like writing to someone, who is seeking information or assistance. Nevertheless, if both are done correctly, they can establish you as an authority in the area of interest. As your website is provides your visitors with regular and quality content, and is a space where visitors feel welcome, you will be well on your way up the stairway to success.

What I was lacking was how to develop an attractive welcoming website, how to create quality and sustainable content, or how to use social media to drive people to my website and converting them to consumers of the products the Affiliate Programs were selling.

I was missing several valuable skills, and did not have a clue where to begin. That is where Wealthy Affiliate came in as the go to location for my climb up the learning curve. They have two state-of -the-art training programs, The Certification Courses and the Bootcamp Courses, which within a very short period taught me most of the skills.

What I want to do with this post is to play that training forward by giving you an overview of the five skills I believe you will need to start your business.

Website Design

Several members of Wealthy Affiliate have indicated that they had been online previously, some had tried several times to start a business. The common theme among them was that although they had been moderately successful or not at all, they recognized the need for training.

They had arrived at Wealthy Affiliate, because they had not been successful and needed to learn how to properly set up a business that attracted sufficient visitors and generated a good income.

Most of them, also stated that in researching an organization that could provide the assistance required, they had found Wealthy Affiliate and they had found little or no negative reviews. That is what convinced me along with the free trail period, that I had found the right place that would provide a holistic approach to training its members.

So what sets Wealthy Affiliate apart from other organizations offering to show you how to set up a business online? The first thing that captured me was the trial period. It was free. Okay but I know very little about affiliate marketing, if anything at all or designing an attractive website, that was like building or maintaining my car, just was not going to happen.

I am sure we have all heard the maxim “give a person a fish you feed them for a day, teach them how to fish and feed them for life.” I had had several organizations promising that if I joined them, they would design my website and write content. Of course depending on what outlay (money) my site could be basic or award-winning.

Building a website is mandatory in creating an online business. There are several organizations who offer their services to assist you in designing your business and website. Wealthy Affiliate and these other organizations had one thing in common, they all asked for a niche or passion. What was I passionate about.

Wealthy Affiliate Stood out because they did not offer to build the website for me or write the content. They offered to teach me how to create a website. It was not award-winning, but it has the potential to be and it is mine. I had designed it through Wealthy Affiliate training.

The first skill towards a successful online business is learning how to create an attractive website.

In the trial period you have seven days to explore and take the first course that consists of ten lessons. At the end of the ten lessons you will have chosen your niche/passion, created your website on the free domains, hosted by Wealthy Affiliate, and prepared it for searches by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

The neat thing about Wealthy Affiliate, if you decide not to go forward and join the premium program, is that you get to keep your website. There is no pressure to join Wealthy Affiliate, but once you start to go through the first course you will realize the benefits that are available.


So now you have a website. How do you make money? In any business you have to attract traffic. Brick and mortar businesses, use to rely on three major marketing methods to attract traffic: walk by, advertising (Yellow Page Ads, mailbox leaflets, etc.,) and word of mouth. How you marketed your business was crucial to your success. Along came the internet and it changed the landscape. Potential customers could now find everything they needed to make an informed decision either from the comfort of their home or from the office. Your whole marketing strategy had to change. You now had to reach your target audience according to how they research and shop.

There is approximately four million people worldwide using the internet and to attract a portion of that market you have to appear on the first two pages of Google, Bing or Yahoo. The thing about the internet is that if you are not on those first two pages of a search, the chances of someone calling or dropping by are pretty slim. The same applies to online shopping. As people see you on the first two pages the higher the possibility that they will click on your website and take advantage of what you are offering and make a purchase.

Wealthy Affiliate’s courses take you through preparing your website for Search Engines, how to get ranked by them, and how to share your website and content through social media sites like Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, etc. All with the goal of attracting traffic. Without that traffic it does not matter what is your online business, it will struggle to become successful.
The second Skill is how to market your online business.

You need to establish your brand online, using your website. Understand your targeted audience, how to use visuals and colour on your website and pages, and how to boost your ranking to arrive on the first two pages of an online search.


In any business there is one skill that sets apart the successful business person and that is research. You have to do your homework. To be relevant to your customers you have to stay on top of what is trending in your area of business. As an example if you are in the Health and Fitness business, you have to keep up on methods to train the various age groups. The latest nutritional recommendations, First Aid, new methods in training and many other things. At Wealthy Affiliate they provide you with tools that will assist you in researching your passion; evaluate the competition by using keywords; and find topics for creating content.

Knowledge is really king and the way to get that knowledge is through research your third skill.

Content Development

Now you have traffic dropping by your website, but they only stay a minute. Not long enough to look around and perhaps click on one of the Affiliate Programs that advertise on your site. Remember they may have learned about your site from a search engine, or a referral. So how do you get them to stay and perhaps make that money making click? Content is the answer. You have to write quality content on a regular basis. Your content must be published and shared on social media.

I am fortunate that my career allowed me to develop writing as a skill but not everybody has had that opportunity. Some people have never thought of being in the writing business. Yet in a few lessons you see those same people writing blogs and creating content for their sites and actually enjoying it.

From day one, Wealthy Affiliate is training you to become comfortable with the concept of writing. Small assignments are given to assist you on becoming comfortable and consistent in your writing.

The two founders of Wealthy Affiliate have a vision of a community of like-minded people helping each other and they have created platforms to achieve that community, where members can link up, like live chat, where you can do just that chat with people all over the world or blogging from letting your fellow members know how you are doing, ask questions when you are having problems, asking for feedback or comments to what the weather is like. From what I can see there are over 1,000,000 members worldwide who are members of Wealthy Affiliate with whom you can communicate. All of this is done through the internet, Wealthy Affiliate and writing.

To make content development easier, there are two key tools available to members at Wealthy Affiliate. The first is called Jaaxy. The first time you are introduced to Jaaxy is during the trial period, when you are determining your passion and what competition already exists. By inserting a few keywords about your passion you can determine the average monthly traffic, and the competition you have.

The second time is when you are seeking topics to write regular content. Again by inserting keywords in to Jaaxy you will generate several keywords that you can use in writing Your content. That is only an overview of Jaaxy’s capabilities there are so many other ways you can use the tool. Did I mention that it is also free?

When you start to write content it is important that grammar and spelling are correct. Site Content is another free tool that helps you to outline what you are planning to write and will perform a check on both your spelling and grammar before you publish.

Writing is the fourth skill you will learn to develop.


This final skill is crucial to staying the course and seeing your passion become a reality and make money. Right off the bat you have to develop self-discipline, without it you will not write regular content, you will not monitor how your website is doing in terms of traffic and you will want to quit because it has not made any money in the first two months.

Most businesses fail because planning did not happen. The average business will not see a profit in the first three to five years. It normal breaks even within that time frame. So expecting to see income in two months is being really optimistic. It usually takes three to four years to earn a college diploma, university degree, or learn a trade yet in starting a business people expect it to start making money in less than a year.

To reduce the possibility of the business failing, you need to develop self-discipline to plan. Establish goals for a year, break the goals into months, set priorities for the week and tasks for the day. Believe me this makes it much easier to see where you are going and monitor your performance.

Establish when you are most productive. My most productive time for writing was in the morning, so I would set up most of my meetings in the afternoon. You may be a person that likes to work in the evening when the dishes are cleaned, and kids are all in bed. Whatever is your productive time set it aside and establish a discipline of working at that time.

This is one of the hardest skills to develop, because there are so many distractions that will throw you off your game, but it is crucial if you want to be successful.


As stated earlier there are many other skills you can learn to own and manage a business, and there are many books out there that cover those skills. My purpose here was to touch on the five main skills I believe you will require to start an online business. Web design, internet affiliate marketing skills, research, content development, self-discipline. The training at Wealthy Affiliate does not stop there, there are weekly live webinars, and training developed by other members that will keep you abreast of the other skills you will need.

I want to leave you with one suggestion, which is to take advantage of Wealthy Affiliate’s training. Not only is it free but I really believe it will help you to make your dream to own an online business and be recognized as an authority in your online passion.

I hope you found this post informative, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

Hello, I am Harvey the creator of My Living The Dream. I was born on the beautiful island of Jamaica but grew up in the United Kingdom. With my family I immigrated to Canada and settled in Ottawa, Ontario. The capital of Canada. I am retired and I want to travel and enjoy my retirement. Get out of the cold and take vacations somewhere warm and low key. That is why I started this website. I figured if I can earn sufficient “crazy money,” that would allow me to travel five months of the year my dream can come true. I want to show you how you can turn your dreams into reality.

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  1. King Kong's Girl - Reply

    HI Harvey, I am taking that course from Wealthy Affiliate and coming from zero knowledge, I now have a running website, contents, and links that can eventually earn passive income. Much more than that, I was able to share my thoughts and start my mission to spread positivity and enlightenment to anyone who read my posts. You’re right, all these five skills are essential in order to get started with affiliate marketing. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Harvey Brown - Reply

      Thanks for dropping by. I really do appreciate your comment and I also started from scratch when I joined Wealthy Affiliate. The training is exceptional at WA. If you have any questions just drop me a note.

  2. JD - Reply

    I really like your comment about how there are is no elevator to success. Its often a staircase that you have to take step by step. Patience and perseverance will pay off in affiliate marketing. Research and content, in my opinion, are the two most important skills out of the five. Creating quality content that is relevant to your audience is key to getting noticed by google!

    • Harvey Brown - Reply

      Hello Jon, thank you for commenting on my post. I heard that phrase while watching the television program “Shark’s Tank,” and thought how true that was. Your content cannot be compelling without research, unless you are already an authority on the subject and constant posting of content is one of the ways to be recognised as an authority.  

  3. Tim Bennett! - Reply

    Hello Harvey,

    As I started reading your post, I couldn’t help fee that you and I have had similar paths.

    I started a bricks and mortar business over 30 years ago and although I loved the journey and wouldn’t change it for anything, I must admit as I got older I caught myself thinking there must be an easier way many many times.

    I totally agree with your 5 skills and the one that resonated the most with me was “Self Discipline”

    There were many days when I couldn’t be bothered to go to work, but the little voice in my head pushed me and I also made it a point of surrounding myself with people who were ‘waiting’ for me to show up.

    Stepping into bigger shoes is sometimes a challenge, but the journey is an awesome one.

    I wish you success in your business.


    • Harvey Brown - Reply

      Hello Tim, thank you for the complement. We probably have had the same experiences. Two things I learned, there are many, but the two that always stuck in my mind are, no one loves your business like you do. The second, “no one loves your business like you do.” If you are not motivated and disciplined that business will suffer. Wealthy Affiliate operates on the same principal. If you are not working to make your online business a success it will fail.

      We cannot learn if we are not willing to accept challenges. 

      Good luck with your business also.

  4. jeffrey16201 - Reply

    Great advice on the skills one needs to succeed in affiliate marketing, I often wonder if affiliate marketing is on the up or just another scam?

    How do you know for sure the affiliate programs you are promoting are not cheating you out of sales commission, I never could understand how you can know if you are being paid as much as you have really earned?

    • Harvey Brown - Reply

      Hello Jeffrey, most Advertisers are legit, but if you are not sure the safest thing is to use a Network Program, like Clickbank, CJ Associates (formerly Commission Junction). They have gathered several of the Affiliate Programs under their network and you are paid by them. Amazon being such a huge business does have its own program. 

      Usually, your commission is spelled out in the agreement, so it is a matter of checking what you received against what was promised. Thanks for bringing up the point. It is a matter of trust and that builds over time.

  5. Furkan - Reply

    I really need to learn how to create a website and I actually couldn’t learn it from youtube videos. I also tried some other free website sources. They just talk about basics and they are not complete. I need to learn widgets and plugins. Does this platform have training about these?

    • Harvey Brown - Reply

      Hello Furkan, thank you for stopping by. Wealthy Affiliate (WA) is one of the foremost training communities for Affiliate Marketing. They take you step by step through the whole process, which includes building a website. Creating a website with initial plugins takes less than ten minutes. You will need other plugins and widgets has you progress but you will have your own website.

  6. Melinda Curle - Reply

    For me, self-discipline was the most important aspect of building my online business. Without self-discipline, it is difficult to build the other skills. Once I applied myself and had the discipline to create content everyday, I saw myself improving dramatically.
    It really helped me when I joined Wealthy Affiliate because they had step by step training to help me develop those skills. They also had a wonderful community to give me feedback and help me improve my website.

    • Harvey Brown - Reply

      Hello Melinda, thank you for you comment. Self-discipline is the hardest to acquire, because procrastination is the easiest to fall prey to. Once you have it however, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. 

  7. justin - Reply

    Hey i really enjoyed this article, i really do like affiliate marketing even though i have not made any sells yet. I have been doing this for 4 months so far and im making progress, i have had 4 referrals i just havent made money yet. I am wanting to learn more so i can succeed, im ready to take my sites to the next level and youtube is really important for affiliate marketing as well, theres a lot too it but anyone can do it if you want it!

    • Harvey Brown - Reply

      Hello Justin, thank you for your comment. I agree affiliate marketing is one of the best online businesses to start. Referrals are your first stage and a good one. That means people are using the free trial. Hopefully, you will get a conversion from that. Videos are becoming one of he necessary skills more and more. I will have to learn how to do that.

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