I'm not sure, if I've posted this the right way. But I've decided to share my bit of knowledge to BHW. Let me know if there's anything unsuitable, I'll change or delete the thread. This is one of the most frequently asked, yet barely answered, question that upcoming and novice affiliate marketers come across and I personally answer the very same question for around 10-12 new affiliate marketers who approach me. So, here is the answer you need, maybe not what you were looking for (a map). Effective affiliate marketing consists of three components: 1. Defining your Market. 2. Driving the Traffic. 3. Making the Sale. I don't see how I can break it down to anything simpler. Yes, of course, there are sub-components to each of the three steps but in a nutshell this is how affiliate marketing, or for that matter, every business works out. Now, I won't go into much detail of each of the steps here, let's save that for later or maybe I'll release the guide I've been working on, as soon as I get some time on my hands, that gets into the each and every aspect. But till then, I'd encourage you to test things out for yourself. Stop looking for answers from the outside. Test, record, analyze, repeat. Take initiative, and even though it might take a little bit longer to see the results you're expecting, you'll have a better shot to stay profitable in the long run. But I will, however, give you a little idea on how to approach each step and some quick points that will help you not make the rookie mistakes. How do you Define your Market ? I've already written a detailed guide on how to go about market research which you can find here. Driving the Traffic This is what makes internet marketing so powerful, you've got access to thousands of potential buyers just a click away. But you're not alone and that's why it's important to stick to one traffic generation strategy and only one, until you know the ins and outs of that strategy. You won't beat a PPC expert by knowing the basics of SEO, Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin Marketing. Similarly, you won't beat an SEO by knowing what CPC is and how to setup your ad campaign on 7search. You need to know the game you choose to take over, moreover, you need to be able to use it at will. Good SEO's don't worry about Google updates, they're in for the long run. They understand that when the algorithm changes and people throw in their towels. They've got this huge share of the market, ready to be taken over. The take here is to stick to one strategy and master it and once you've done it, you'll realize that it's enough to drive the results you want. Making the Sale In my opinion, this is the most important skill you can develop, making sales. Making sales is about understanding your audience, their worldview, what triggers them, what factors influence their buying decision and how to use that to craft a story that resonates with them, connects and builds trust. Once you've built that trust, the connection, closing that sale is a click away. You've now got everything you need to "get started with affiliate marketing". If something's still holding you back, it's most probably you. To your Success, Karan Labra. Source (my personal Blog).