Money can be an issue for starting any business. Some businesses need a lot of money for success, which can mean significant losses when a failure occurs.
Thankfully, money is not an issue when someone wants to start a business in affiliate marketing. Some places will let people begin affiliate marketing for free! If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, here are ways to start affiliate marketing with no money.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is when someone promotes someone else’s product or service via commissions when someone clicks on an affiliate link to buy said product or service.
Suppose someone uploads a video commenting on the best air fryers, and someone else buys one of the air fryers mentioned in the video by clicking on a link. The person who uploaded the video, the affiliate marketer, earns a percentage of that sale.
Affiliate marketing has many perks, such as:
- No manufacturing or shipping products
- No handling customer service
- Almost no overhead
- Getting paid for promoting neat products
In a nutshell, affiliate marketers:
- Sign up for a company or store affiliate program
- Get a special link for a product from the said affiliate program
- Recommend said product to potential customers
- Get paid a commission after a successful sale
How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money
Can someone start affiliate marketing with no money? The answer is yes, and here are some fun and creative ways someone can start!
Step One: Picking a Niche
Before going into affiliate marketing, it’s best to figure out which audience the affiliate marketer wants to appeal to by choosing a niche they’re passionate about.
For example, suppose the affiliate marketer is passionate about gardening. That makes affiliate marketing easier because the marketer can give honest opinions and reviews when discussing products.
When picking a niche for affiliate marketing, it’s best to choose something that’ll be interesting for years. Affiliate marketing takes time to build brand authority and turn it into a full-time business.
If the affiliate marketer has difficulty choosing a niche, they can always look for reputable affiliate programs and base a niche on said program.
Finding a reputable affiliate program with companies can be difficult. Most companies either have excellent products with low commission rates or terrible products with high commission rates. There are exceptions to base a niche around, though.
Having high-paying partners is better than promoting products on places like Amazon. The best affiliate partnerships create direct relationships between the promoted brand and a worked-out private deal.
Where can someone find these affiliate programs? Some websites promote popular affiliate marketing platforms. The affiliate marketer can also search for affiliate marketing programs on search engines.
It can also help to see if whatever brand the affiliate marketer enjoys has an affiliate program or get in touch with the brand’s marketing team or owner to work something out.
Step Two: Choosing a Traffic Source
There are many places to start affiliate marketing with no money. It’s best to choose one or two traffic sources and stick with them.
Some popular traffic sources for affiliate marketing are:
Social media websites are some of the most popular traffic sources for affiliate marketing since they encourage users to post and share content. Blogs are also popular ways to garner traffic for affiliate marketing. However, all these sources have their flaws.
Building and gaining an audience on these platforms takes a long time. Also, it becomes overwhelming when the affiliate marketer uses all these platforms simultaneously. That’s why using only one or two leading platforms for affiliate marketing is best.
Another flaw with social media is that many people don’t know how to use search engine optimization (SEO) properly. SEO creates and optimizes content to appear in search engines. It takes time to learn about SEO, but some websites specialize in it.
YouTube and Google are some of the most popular search engines, and their organic traffic is one of the best ways to earn recurring yet passive revenue.
Despite their flaws, social media is almost perfect for affiliate marketing since almost all are free to use. All an affiliate marketer needs to do is sign up and put a link in the bio, and interact with other users. It’s as simple as that!
Social media websites aren’t the only traffic sources for affiliate marketing. The affiliate marketer can also start by using web forums and blogs. For example, the marketer can write an affiliate review on a website like Medium, or they can promote their niche on a forum website like Quora.
Wherever the affiliate marketer decides to start depends on their niche and source preference. Some niches are more competitive than others, especially on certain websites. Whatever it is, this niche and traffic source will be the ones that’ll be used for years.
Step Three: Using Email Marketing and Other Promotions
If social media isn’t the best choice, then there’s always email. Few people consider email a way to start affiliate marketing, but many free email affiliate services exist.
Of course, email marketing works better if the affiliate marketer is using social media. How else will they place their link in every social profile’s bio and promote it?
The affiliate marketer can also place their affiliate link in an email newsletter. Email newsletters are an excellent way of building relationships with subscribers. The marketer can help with problems and recommend their affiliate products. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!
Another way to start affiliate marketing with no money is by creating an affiliate website. Creating a website may sound like a lot of money, but some places let the affiliate marketer create one for free.
Creating an affiliate website for a niche is a fantastic way of promoting products and making money. The best thing is that the affiliate marketer can create and promote any content however they want.
Step Four: Creating Amazing Content
When starting affiliate marketing, the marketer might wonder how they’ll gain customers and money. How is it possible to stand out from the crowd and make money?
One way to do so is by creating amazing content. Social media is one of the best places for this as they encourage creating and sharing. It depends on the niche, but affiliate content should simultaneously inform and entertain.
Some platforms are different when it comes to affiliate marketing. For example, Google is more about learning. That means the affiliate marketer should research and make it easy for consumers to understand. This involves keyword research, watching videos, reading forums, and more.
When Googling something, people will stumble upon lists that promote products they can buy. That’s because the people who made these lists have used those products, and they can give an honest opinion about them.
TikTok, by contrast, focuses more on creativity and storytelling. Whether it’s one person making a low-quality handheld video being a natural person or high-quality edited films that took hours to make, the video needs to have a unique perspective.
On social media, people want to be entertained, not informed. The marketer must find a balance between entertainment and information for affiliate marketing. That’s why creating something better than the top result on any search engine is crucial.
If the affiliate marketer can find a balance between entertainment and information, they can make lots of money.
Step Five: Promoting and Scaling Up
Promotion is key to becoming a successful affiliate marketer. It brings the marketer’s brand to many people and makes them lots of money. So, how does the promotion work?
As stated before, it helps to choose one or two primary traffic sources. However, that advice is for creating content. The affiliate marketer can still promote it on different platforms.
Suppose the affiliate marketer focuses on YouTube. They can still promote their content on other platforms like Facebook. All it takes is sharing and moving on.
Other ways to promote affiliate products are:
- Interacting with others on forums
- Commenting on videos and posts
- Building relationships with others in similar niches
- Doing email reaches
Once that works out for the affiliate marketer, they can scale it up and repeat the process.
Money can be an issue for starting any business. Thankfully, it’s not an issue when someone starts affiliate marketing. Anyone can start affiliate marketing by picking a niche, choosing a traffic source, using email marketing, creating amazing content, and promoting and scaling things up.