Are you stuck trying to figure out how to start an affiliate marketing business, but lack the funds required?
Our world is becoming increasingly materialistic, and it seems that nowadays everything comes with a price tag.
Is it possible to make money with affiliate marketing without investing any money upfront? Yes, it is, but don’t quit your day job just yet!
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to start affiliate marketing with no money. You’re not going to get rich, but it’s a start to bigger and better things!
We’ll also cover some tips and tricks so that even if your start-up funds are limited, you can still have great success in setting up and running a lucrative affiliate program.
Whether you’re just getting started or already have some experience under your belt, this guide has something for everyone!
Let’s get started!
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an online business where someone promotes products or services for another person or company.
The person promoting the product or service earns money from the sale, known as an “affiliate commission”.
Affiliate marketing is also the #1 way bloggers earn money.
This system is quite similar to what a salesperson would earn as a commission. The only difference is that affiliate marketers are not employees of the company they promote.
As an affiliate marketer, you generate revenue by driving traffic to your affiliate products or service through your blog, social media platforms, business website, or any other online platform.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
In order to make a profit, affiliate marketing requires four things.
- A location (site) to promote products or services
- A product or service to sell
- Affiliate marketers (you)
How affiliate marketing works (we’ll talk in terms of blogging):
- A blogger signs up with an affiliate network or company’s affiliate program
- Once approved, the affiliate marketer (blogger) receives special affiliate links from the affiliate network or company
- The blog owner promotes the products or services through his or her blog using the special affiliate link provided by the company
- When a reader clicks the affiliate marketers link and makes a purchase, the blogger will receive a commission
- After some time has passed (usually 30 days), the company will pay the prearranged commission percentage using the chosen payment method (I.E. Paypal or another means)
Getting started in affiliate marketing is much easier than you might think.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
Very Low risk
There are a few reasons why selling affiliate products is low risk:
- You don’t need to invest any money in order to start promoting affiliate products.
- You don’t need to create or own any products of your own. You simply promote products that are already created by someone else.
- You don’t need to worry about shipping or customer service. The company you’re affiliated with will take care of all of that for you.
- You can make a commission on any sale that you generate, regardless of the size of the sale. This means that you don’t need to make a lot of sales in order to make a profit.
- If the product you’re promoting isn’t performing well, you can easily switch to promoting a different product. This gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom when it comes to your business.
One of the great benefits of affiliate marketing is that you get to be your own boss. You can promote as many products from different merchants as you want!
You’re not limited to one product, target, or deadline, as if you were an employee, which allows you the flexibility to work how you want.
The difference between an affiliate marketer and a traditional employee is that, as an employee, if you don’t perform you stand the chance of losing your job.
With affiliate marketing, you only lose commissions when the affiliate products aren’t selling.
Work From Home or the Beach – Your Choice!
Have you ever dreamed about a life when you no longer have to worry about money, and you can wake up whenever you want?
This is exactly what blogging, combined with affiliate marketing are all about.
Work at your leisure, travel, spend more time with family and friends, and earn a passive income.
There’s no punching a time clock, or trading time for money.
How Much Can You Make With Affiliate Marketing?
As an affiliate marketer, your earning potential is unlimited.
Simpler Answer: “The Sky is the Limit!”
There is no set limit on affiliate marketing income. It will depend on the niche you’re in and your audience.
I’ve seen some very successful affiliate marketers, many are millionaires.
Even though most people will only earn a few hundred dollars per month, there are still some affiliate marketers who have raked in millions from this same business model.
There’s no limit to how much you can earn through affiliate marketing. You can participate in as many affiliate programs as you like and drive sales to them.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Make money while you sleep!” That’s what affiliate marketing is all about, it generates money whether you’re shooting pool at a friend’s house, on vacation, shopping, or sleeping.
How Quickly Can You Make Money as an Affiliate Marketer?
Affiliate marketing is a reliable source of income that can change your life for the better, but it takes time to build, especially if you’re starting out with one of the free methods.
Yes, affiliate marketing will take some time to build, but when the money starts flowing in, it only gets better and better.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint!”
By creating content that’s talking about affiliate products or services, that are optimized for search engines, you can earn a passive income over time as your articles continue to rank high in search engine results.
The nice thing about creating content, it’ll be out there in cyberspace forever. Having these assets will give you the potential to generate passive income for years to come.
Before your business can begin generating a passive income, you first need to put in the hard work required to build it.
Be sure to read the subject, “Are You Willing to Do what It Takes…” at the beginning of Creating a System for Blogging Success – 90 Days and Beyond (It Will Only Take a Minute and it will open a new tab, so you won’t lose your place)!
Once your site starts generating an income, you can start planning your dream life and earn while you sleep.
Not only that, but once you start earning money, you can reinvest your earnings into additional methods that will help grow your business even faster.
Don’t yet have a site of your own? Let’s get you started making an affiliate income by starting your own profitable blog.
Short on cash? Keep reading!
Can You Start Affiliate Marketing with No Money?
You only need an internet connection and a device that can access the internet.
The phrase, “It takes money to make money,” is often accurate, yet there are plenty of affiliate marketing methods that you can use without spending a dime.
You don’t need to spend any money when you first start affiliate marketing, but once you generate an income from it, reinvesting that money can help scale your business.
As an affiliate marketer, your job is to generate interest and sales for another company’s product. In return for marketing and selling their product, the creator you’re affiliated with will pay you a commission.
You probably didn’t realize it, but when you refer a product to your friends, you’re unknowingly participating in affiliate marketing.
Let’s get you paid for doing the things you’re already doing by following these steps.
How to Start Affiliate Marketing with No Money!
Although you may think you need money to start affiliate marketing, there are actually plenty of ways to get started without spending a dime.
I’ll share with you the best and most effective way to begin your affiliate journey and earn decent revenue from it.
With the right tools and resources, all you need to succeed is a bit of patience and hard work. You can find these affiliate programs by doing some research online or talking to people who are already in them.
If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing and how to get started, there are plenty of free sources online that can help you. You can find information on the web or via YouTube videos (or, you can just follow the link above).
Use this article as your foundation, and continuously improve your skills by practicing the tips and strategies provided. Depending on your niche, market, and audience, you’ll have to adjust these techniques over time.
If you want to get into affiliate marketing, then writing content is truly the best way to go.
To be completely honest, blogging is considered the best form to get started with affiliate marketing. Why do I say this?
Because, the good thing about blogging is that once you write content, product reviews, etc., for affiliate products and their companies, the content will always be there for years to come.
Considering that this blog post is all about starting affiliate marketing without investing any money, you need to know that it’ll be a tough road to be a successful blogger without investing any money at all.
Yes, you can start a blog for free, but going the Freebie route will take more time to succeed and is borderline impossible to scale and expand your affiliate marketing business.
If you really want to go this route, you can start a blog for free on WordPress.com or Blogger.com, but free is not always the smart way to go!
NOTE: These free blogging platforms are created with the hobby blogger in mind and are not recommended, if you’re wanting to start an affiliate business.
You’ve heard it before, “you get what you pay for.”
Let’s continue to discuss ways to start affiliate marketing without investing any money upfront, while throwing in options that could help you improve your money-making opportunities, ten-fold.
I learned, it’s always good to have a choice!
1. Choose a Specific Affiliate Marketing Niche
Choose a specific topic you’re familiar with and passionate about, then specialize your focus.
For example, if you have quite a bit of experience with online shopping, you could use your skills to become an affiliate for a clothing company.
In a nutshell, you’ll want to promote affiliate products to a specific group of people, known as your target audience. You could then write reviews on various types of clothes that are trending.
It’s important to pick a niche that you can talk about forever. One that you’re passionate about and won’t get burned out after writing 10 articles or recording Tik Tok or YouTube videos.
2. Create a List of Affiliate Products and Services to Promote
With a huge amount of affiliate products available, it’s essential to find those most suited for your target audience.
Having knowledge of your topic will help you quickly become aware of the products people need to purchase.
The chances are better if you’re already using some of these products or services.
You’ll also want to select trustworthy affiliate networks that align with both you and your audience, in order to experience success as an affiliate marketer.
Here are some points to follow when searching for affiliate products:
- Find products that suit your niche, and only recommend products that will be of value to your readers.
- Do your research and pick products that have great feedback from customers, as well as high market demand.
- Select products or services that will pay higher affiliate commissions, so you don’t have to rely on excessive amounts of website traffic or sales for a steady income.
- Instead of the traditional one-time commission, keep an eye out for products to promote that offer recurring commissions. This will allow you to make more money over time and reap greater benefits in the future.
Some quick methods to help you find affiliate products:
- Do a Google search for [Your Niche] Affiliate Programs. Example: “fitness affiliate programs“.
- Sign up for Clickbank or Commission Junction or ShareASale to find digital products.
- For physical products to promote, check out Amazon.
Things to keep in mind when choosing a product:
- Some digital products may run through a marketing funnel that will promote additional offers that can boost your commission.
- Many products like software can come with recurring commissions or subscription-based products.
Here’s a free Chrome extension, Affilitizer, which will help you uncover new affiliate programs and take your business to the next level!
3. Decide on Your Source to Drive Traffic
In order to start selling, you’ll need to find a platform to promote your products, whether it’s a blog or you use social media platforms.
There are free sources that will help drive traffic, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Medium, and TikTok, along with YouTube and Forum-based websites such as Reddit and Quora.
Leveraging the huge reach of social media is a powerful way to promote your affiliate program. By producing attractive visuals that are relevant to your niche and recommending them alongside your offerings, you stand a good chance of converting viewers into customers.
You can create content and promote affiliate products without a blog if you choose. However, I recommend using these sites solely to generate free traffic back to your blog posts that are referencing your affiliate products.
Sharing relevant content on social media platforms, then linking to products and services from your blog, is a way you can attract new visitors who may be compelled to click through and make a purchase.
For example, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all great for promoting content. However, I wouldn’t recommend using them to directly promote affiliate products because:
- Promoting affiliate content is generally not allowed on social media platforms, because people tend to dislike feeling like they are being sold to.
- The content on these platforms is many times, short-lived on the news feed, so it will be difficult to create a residual income.
Social Media Platforms to Consider
It should come as no surprise that YouTube is one of the best platforms for affiliate marketing with its huge reach and abundant competition.
Boasting 1.5 billion active users, it currently stands as the second most visited website online! With this many potential customers at your fingertips, there’s ample opportunity to make a profitable income through YouTube’s powerful platform.
If you can create compelling videos that speak to your viewers, the sky’s the limit for the amount of money you can earn through affiliate marketing.
As the largest social media platform in the world, Facebook will allow you to engage with your customers and build an active audience. It’s the perfect tool for connecting to a large group of people quickly and easily!
Facebook is an amazing tool for reaching out to your target market by utilizing this powerful network and connecting with both existing customers as well as potential ones in order to tap into a highly engaged audience base.
While Facebook’s advertising network offers businesses the opportunity to run paid campaigns and boost their products, organic posts have been proven to be even more successful when it comes to generating leads.
Affiliate marketing on Instagram will provide visually captivating forms of content that can draw in viewers and promote immense reach and growth with its Reels feature.
It’s the perfect platform for displaying visually captivating affiliate offers. Whether it be through Reels or Stories, this powerful app focuses on visual content that can draw in your target audience with ease.
Although this is a great way to engage audiences, it also means organic reach can be reduced compared with other platforms. Instagram wants its users to remain on the platform and therefore does not permit clickable links in posts.
Instagram does permit businesses to launch paid campaigns which can boost visibility and attract more customers.
With TikTok, you can create short video clips that promote excellent organic reach and gain more likes & comments.
No need for a “professional” look and feel – the goal is to make these short video clips more personal with an authentic experience. TikTok delivers on this front by not only promoting these videos but also providing organic reach higher than many other social media platforms.
Unfortunately, the links within descriptions are not clickable, reducing organic traffic conversion. Not only that, the majority of the visitors generally come to this platform for entertainment purposes, rather than to buy items.
From home decor to fashion and health, Pinterest is the ultimate platform for uncovering inspiring ideas online. It’s a powerful visual search engine that encourages users to explore, save, and share creative content with friends around the globe!
Pinterest is a visually-stunning social media platform that encourages users to “pin” images and discover new ideas and interests. This user-friendly website helps you explore, create, and save inspiring content!
With this feature, users are able to explore boards made by various brands, organizations, and individuals. They can keep a tab on certain boards as well as re-pin images from those onto their own board.
Twitter is a microblogging platform that encourages real-time dialogue. Whether you want to share breaking news, live events, or anything new and exciting, Twitter is the perfect tool for staying informed!
Twitter is the perfect platform for creating a buzz about your business. Instead of relying solely on hashtags, try using keywords and phrases to create captivating tweets that draw attention from your target audience.
LinkedIn is a sophisticated business platform that enables you to connect with other professionals, build relationships, and stay on top of industry trends.
Unlike most social media sites, LinkedIn emphasizes professional profiles and content curated by experts in the field.
LinkedIn is an ideal platform for B2B companies to reach their target audience, due to its popularity among professionals. Individuals use this website not only as a tool for job hunting but also as a way of forging connections and furthering their careers.
LinkedIn provides powerful resources to help you grow your sales and generate leads, but these tools come with a hefty price tag, which are only available for Premium members.
4. Create Your Best Content Around Your Affiliate Products or Services
In order to start selling, you’ll need to find a platform for yourself to get the word out about your findings, whether it’s a blog or you decide to use your social media platforms.
To build trust among your target audience and establish yourself as an authority in your niche, you have to provide valuable and informative content before you attempt to pitch any of your products or services.
I realize that this blog post is all about starting an affiliate marketing business without spending any money, but if you have some cash to spare, it would be a wise idea to register a domain name before they’re all gone, just in case you decide to go with my blogging recommendation.
My Pitch to Become a Blogger
There’s one surfire way to become successful right away with affiliate marketing using a blogging platform to make money.
Use a blog to write about your affiliate products, then use your social media platforms to drive traffic back to your blog where you’ll discuss and sell your affiliate products.
If you go the route of blogging on its own, without any social media support, you need to know that it’ll take some time to see results.
Search engines don’t immediately rank your content when you post it.
A website’s authority is one of the most, if not the primary factor, for search engine optimization (SEO).
The more content you create about a certain subject, the more authority you will have on that topic.
But, the great thing about blogging is that, once you write your content, it’s out there in cyberspace forever for people to find. After you write a blog post, you then let your social media following know.
It’s a win-win!
Your blog audience will be most receptive to affiliate offers that you suggest to them if your recommendations will help them move forward with their objectives or solve a problem they’re having.
Creating blog content is one of the most cost-effective methods when it comes to affiliate marketing, as you only need to invest your time in writing and publishing your content.
Content creation also helps build trust with potential customers and prove yourself as an authority on the subject matter.
By creating high-quality content that is both informative and engaging, you can establish yourself as an expert, which is the key to successful affiliate marketing.
This content should be packed with facts, research, and helpful tips to help educate readers about the product or service you recommend.
The best types of blog posts to promote products and services:
- List Post – List posts, or “Listicles“, are the easiest type of blog post to write and are great for a list of recommended affiliate products. Example: “11 of the Best Blogging Platforms for 2023”
- Reviews – With everyone turning to the internet for guidance, why not be one of those bloggers and give your two cents on the latest product or service you’ve tried? Example: “Copy AI Review 2023 – Is This AI Writing Software Tool as Good as the Reviews Say?”
- Best of… – A “Best Of” article is a type of content that highlights the best products or services within a particular niche. Example: “15 Best WordPress Themes for Bloggers & eCommerce Store Owners”
- Comparison Posts – A “comparison post,” or a “vs. post” is an article that compares two things side-by-side! Example: “Jasper AI vs Copy AI – Which Artificial Intelligence Tool Produces the Best Content?”
We’ve come this far discussing blogging as the best form for producing content for affiliate marketing, then using social media to drive traffic back to your blog; but there’s another method that is big with affiliate marketing and bloggers.
Having your own blog along with a Youtube channel are, in my opinion, the two best places to begin.
The reason I recommend blogging and YouTube so highly is because they are the best methods to be found in the search engines.
And, appearing in search results means your content will gain daily exposure for years to come.
Something to think about…
5. Utilizing Social Media Marketing Tools
If you’re just starting out in affiliate marketing, it can be intimidating to build an audience from the ground up.
After all, your target customers may not even recognize who you are yet. Thankfully, social media is here to save the day and help you rapidly expand your platform!
Using social media for your affiliate marketing campaigns can be an incredibly effective method to increase visibility and create a powerful brand presence.
It’s also a good idea to consistently create content that will engage your target audience.
Establishing a social media presence is an important step in growing your online business, but as previously mentioned, it can also be used to direct people back to your blog.
If you want to gain the most traffic and make the most money with your efforts, you’ll need to invest some time to learn how to use these tools properly.
To help with your social media strategy, you can utilize tools like Radaar or Tailwind. These tools can help you automate numerous tasks, such as scheduling posts, monitoring conversions, analyzing data, and much more, all while saving time that would otherwise be spent on manual work.
There are free tools like Buffer offering you a great way to reduce the stress associated with business operations and allowing you to focus on what really matters, growing your company. You can then upgrade later if you want!
6. Where to Place Your Affiliate Links
Now that you have produced a helpful piece of content and selected a product to market, it is time to inform your audience how they can acquire that product through clicking on your unique affiliate link so you get paid.
Most content writers will place their unique affiliate links within their content, so it reads naturally and directs their reader to the product or service they are promoting.
What’s great about blogging combined with affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to work constantly to create a passive income.
Simply write high-quality, search engine-friendly content to drive traffic to your post where there are affiliate links woven within the content and allow your article to drive the sales automatically, on auto-pilot.
Of course, your blog post works best when you’re solving your reader’s problem, and the solution is the affiliate product or service you’re promoting.
To start affiliate marketing without any money, you’re going to need to pour most of, if not all your focus into content creation.
If you’re willing to invest your time and energy into creating content, developing relationships, and learning the ins and outs of affiliate marketing, it can be a rewarding experience that will pay dividends for years to come.
Your content will establish you as a credible source to your audience, which in turn builds trust. And people who trust you are much more likely follow your recommendations!
Not only will the content you create continue working hard for you long after it’s published, but it will also serve as an asset.