how to start affiliate marketing with no money

What is affiliate marketing give examples.

          Affiliate marketing is the practice of selling another person’s product online in exchange for a commission. An entrepreneur or an established company, for example, may have a product or a catalog of products, either digital or physical. They allow others to promote and sell their products, paying them a commission on each sale.

how does affiliate marketing work

how to start affiliate marketing with no money

Who Are Affiliates?

An affiliate can be either an individual or a business. Affiliates are typically bloggers or other content creators. They typically work in industries that are similar to or closely related to the company whose products they promote.

Affiliates are people who help promote a product or service by writing blog posts, making videos, and engaging in other marketing activities. When a visitor to an affiliate’s website makes a purchase or fills out a lead form on the affiliate company’s website, the affiliate is compensated.

The affiliate program terms govern how much and for what (lead or purchase) the affiliate is paid. In general, the commission is frequently based on a fixed percentage of the product in question. It could also be a different sum agreed upon by the advertiser and publisher.

Who Are The Companies?

how to start affiliate marketing with no money

Any company willing to pay commissions to affiliates who promote their products is considered an affiliate company (also known as a merchant, advertiser, retailer, or brand).

Affiliate companies compensate their affiliates for assisting them in increasing traffic and sales. Payments are typically made on a per-click, per-lead, or per-sale basis (more on these later). This structure is also known as performance marketing.

By 2021, more than 84% of businesses in the United States will have an affiliate marketing programme in place to help raise brand awareness, encourage customer engagement, and increase online sales.

What Are Affiliate Networks?

Affiliate networks act as a go-between for businesses and their affiliates. They manage the relationship by acting as a third-party check and balance.

These networks monitor, report on and manage payments made to affiliates. When you join an affiliate network, you usually gain access to all of the affiliate companies that are managed by the network.

ClickBank, Commission Junction, and ShareASale are three popular affiliate networks. These three networks work with a wide range of brands, or advertisers as they are also known.

There are also niche networks that are notable for their specialized affiliate tools, expertise, and bringing brands from a single niche together. Travelpayouts, for example, gives you access to 80 travel affiliate programs from the biggest brands on the market. They’d be a good fit for travel bloggers or webmasters with travel-related traffic.

What are Affiliate Links?

how to start affiliate marketing with no money

You will receive an affiliate link after joining an affiliate program. This is a unique URL that includes your affiliate username or ID. This link will be used whenever you mention the advertiser’s product on your website or in other marketing efforts, such as a blog post or social media.

How Do Affiliates Get Paid?

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how to start affiliate marketing with no money

As an affiliate, you are compensated based on your performance. The three most common types of performance-based models in affiliate marketing are as follows:

Pay-Per-Click (PPC): An affiliate is compensated for all valid clicks generated, regardless of whether the clicks result in sales or leads.

Pay-Per-Lead (PPL): Businesses pay a fixed commission for each qualified action generated by a click. This action could include installing an app, submitting an online form, signing up for a free trial, or completing a short survey.

PPS (Pay-Per-Sale): Businesses pay a percentage of all qualified sales. The company and its affiliate have agreed on this percentage. Amazon Associates is one of the most common PPS programs, with a publisher earning up to 15% depending on the products sold.

Commissions are typically paid out on a monthly basis. However, this varies depending on the affiliate program’s terms. Affiliate marketers can be compensated in a variety of ways, such as monetary commission, credit commission, and discount commission.

How To Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money

how to start affiliate marketing with no money

how to start affiliate marketing with no money

1. Find a niche

Establishing yourself within a niche is the best way to succeed in affiliate marketing. A niche is the topic on which you will become an authority. Some of the best niches are as follows:

how to start affiliate marketing with no money

  • Hobbies: travel, photography, golfing, outdoors
  • Money: bitcoin, personal finance, credit cards, investing
  • Health: fitness, nutrition, vegan, weight loss, yoga
  • Lifestyle: luxury, airlines, fashion, jewelry
  • Home: baby products, dogs, plants, security
  • Tech: web hosting, VPN, gaming, software
  • Alternative: personal development, marijuana and CBD, herbal remedies

The reason you need a niche is that if you recommend a wide range of products, people will not see you as an expert they can rely on. People can see you have experience in that area if you only recommend a specific type of product and create content about it.

It will also help you with search engine optimization (SEO) on social media and your affiliate website if you decide to build one later.

So, how do you pick a niche?

You should begin with niches that have a high probability of profitability. For example, according to our research*, business-related programs have the highest commissions, while clothing, books, and media have the lowest:


However, these aren’t your only options, and some niches work better on specific platforms than others. Keep in mind that affiliate marketing isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme; you’ll need to have a personal interest in your niche to keep you motivated.

To narrow down your options, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you want to learn more about your niche? Keeping up with trends and industry news in your area is critical to remaining relevant to your audience.

2. Do you have prior experience or training in a specialized field? If you already know something about a subject, you can shorten your learning curve and move ahead more quickly.

3. Is it possible to create content without making an initial investment? Some niches, such as technology or travel, can have significant upfront costs if you don’t already have the necessary equipment or content.

4. Is it financially viable? You ultimately want to make money. So, if your niche is either too broad, resulting in too much competition, or too narrow, resulting in insufficient interest, you risk losing money.

Choosing a niche is a delicate balance, and it may take some time and practise to find the sweet spot—so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate success.

2. Choose an affiliate program

After deciding on a niche, the next step is to decide which affiliate program(s) to join. It makes sense to select a program or affiliate products that are relevant to your niche.

For example, lots of YouTube channels promote Virtual Private Network (VPN) services so their audience can watch them anywhere in the world. Derek Simnett, a vegan fitness and lifestyle educator who is an affiliate for VIVO Life supplements, is a more specific example.

You can find suitable affiliate programmes in your niche in two ways: directly and through marketplaces. If you’re already aware of brands in your niche that have affiliate marketing programmes, you can approach them directly and sign up for them (most affiliate programmes are free to join), as Derek did with VIVO Life.

Another option is to join an affiliate programme marketplace or network, where you can search through thousands of programmes and sign up for them.

Affiliate networks, such as the ones listed below, provide thousands of merchants in a variety of niches:

target affiliate program

how to start affiliate marketing with no money

While all of these are credible options, some factors to consider when selecting an affiliate program include not only its reputation but also its commission rate and earnings per click (EPC) rate. A program with a low commission rate but a high EPC may still be a worthwhile program to join.

3. Decide on a traffic source

You’ll need to start thinking about your traffic source at this point.

People frequently believe that you must become a blogger with a dedicated website (which costs money). Though having one later on when you feel ready to reinvest in your business and scale up is beneficial, it is not required.

Other (free) traffic sources, such as social media platforms, YouTube, and forum-based sites like Reddit and Quora, can be used to generate affiliate income. Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of each channel:

how to start affiliate marketing with no money

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • YouTube

  • TikTok

  • LinkedIn

  • blog

“But I don’t have a social media following!” you may be thinking. How am I going to make money? ” If you don’t already have a following, now is the time to start. To that end, you don’t need a large following to make money; you just need to reach the right people.

Many affiliate marketers make their entire living from social media. Papery Thoughts, a YouTube channel (among other social media accounts) that creates journaling videos, is a great example.

Affiliate sales are generated by links to products in the video description that the creator uses onscreen. Other ways of using social media include joining Facebook groups in your niche and answering questions, or stitching replies to relevant TikTok videos in your industry. Participation, not just spamming people with affiliate offers, is the key to growing an audience.

4. Create content to build trust

Whatever platform(s) you choose for your affiliate marketing efforts, the next step is to begin creating content that will build trust with your target audience. In 2020, global internet users spent an average of 145 minutes per day on social media. What keeps us online for more than two hours every day? Excellent material.

Building a content library takes time, so make a plan and create a content calendar or strategy ahead of time. Your calendar can include descriptions of the types of content you plan to publish on any given day, such as:

  • Tutorials 
  • Q&As 
  • Product reviews
  • How tos
  • Tips and tricks

When developing your content strategy, keep a keyword strategy in mind, especially for YouTube SEO (if you choose YouTube as your platform). After all, if you don’t optimise your content for search results, even high-quality content can get lost in the shuffle.

You can figure out which keywords to use with a little research. Try searching for your competitors’ channels on YouTube, for example. Look at their most popular videos and pay attention to the video title, description, and tags.

Don’t forget to include links to your affiliate products or services, as well as a disclaimer stating that they are affiliated.

5. Grow an audience

While you’re creating content on your preferred platform, you should also start building an email or SMS list. There are two primary reasons for doing so:

  1. Because you own your contact list, you are not reliant on social media platforms to interact with your audience. All of the major platforms experience outages from time to time, so if they do, you can always contact your audience via email.
  2. While some affiliate programs (such as Amazon’s affiliate program) do not allow you to include affiliate links in your emails, you can still email links to content you create that contains affiliate links—you can send traffic to any of your content.
how to do affiliate marketing

how to start affiliate marketing with no money

Using your email list is a great way to provide even more value to your audience while also establishing authority in your niche subject. Some ideas to help you get started with content for your email list include:

  • Industry reports or news
  • Links to new blog posts
  • Interview roundups or summaries
  • Behind the scenes of your life or business
  • Promotional deals (every once in a while)
  • Free digital downloads

When it comes to building an email list for free, there are plenty of email marketing software providers that offer free plans, including Shopify Email, Mailchimp, and MailerLite. It’s worth looking around to see which one is best for you.

Once you’ve earned the trust of your audience, you can begin promoting high-ticket affiliate programs. These programs provide opportunities to earn up to $5,000 per sale. However, in order to persuade people to buy more expensive products, you often need to have a well-established niche and influence.

6. Respond and chat with your audience

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how to start affiliate marketing with no money

Engaging with your audience is the final tip for growing your affiliate marketing business. Creating conversation not only makes your followers or subscribers feel heard, but it also helps you with social media algorithms.

When people interact with your content, it generally serves as a signal to algorithms that your content is worthy of being promoted and shown to more people who might be interested.

When you like and respond to comments on your videos on TikTok, for example, those comments will have a special badge that says “Liked by the creator,” which stands out among other comments.

These interactions are significant because they demonstrate to your audience that you read and value their opinions. As a result, they are more likely to interact with future content from you (and maybe even encourage others to do so, too).

Responding to your audience allows you to learn about their preferences for future content, which is a win-win situation.

Start your affiliate marketing business today

Affiliate marketing does not require a large initial investment. Following the steps outlined in this guide is a relatively risk-free way to begin your journey. The only expenses are your time and effort.

So start thinking about what niche you could build up to a passive income and work from wherever you want (or just tinker with outside of your main income).

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There are no formulae for success but there are some successful entrepreneur tips that can help make things a little simpler.