So, by now, you are probably aware of what affiliate marketing is, if you’re not, then you can read more on that here. The next most frequently asked question tends to be “how much money do you need to start affiliate marketing?” Well, the good news is that we’re here to tell you how to start an affiliate marketing business with no money. That’s right, you can start today. Interested? Read on to find out more.

What you need to start affiliate marketing with no money :

So, although you don’t need a mountain of money to start your own business, you do still need to make an investment. Time. If you could literally sit there and do nothing and then start making money, then everyone would be doing it. 

If everyone was doing it then nobody would make any money, because the market would be so saturated. That brings us to the second thing you need. A niche. You want your offering to be unique, you need something that makes you stand out from everyone else; you need to give people a reason to buy your product, and not Maureen-from-down-the-road’s product instead.

In this article, I’m going to teach you how to start affiliate marketing with (almost) no money. I’ll share how I did it and what you can do to get started today.


How Does Affiliate Marketing Business Work ?

Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business (known as the “merchant”) rewards an individual or a website (known as the “affiliate”) for promoting their products or services and driving sales or traffic to their website.

As an affiliate marketer, you promote a merchant’s products or services through various channels, such as your website, social media, email, or paid advertising. When a customer clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase or performs a specific action (such as filling out a form or subscribing to a service), the merchant pays you a commission based on the agreed-upon rate.

The commission rate can vary depending on the merchant and the product or service being promoted. The commission can be a percentage of the sale price or a flat fee, and it’s usually outlined in an affiliate agreement between the merchant and the affiliate.

Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative way to earn passive income, as it doesn’t require you to create or own a product or handle customer service. However, it does require effort to create quality content and promote the merchant’s products effectively to drive sales or traffic.

👉🏼 Additional reading : 18 Best Email Marketing Software for Affiliate Marketing in 2023 (Updated)

Why should you do affiliate marketing ?

There are several reasons why you might want to consider affiliate marketing as a way to earn income:

  1. Low startup costs: Affiliate marketing is a low-cost business model, as you don’t have to create a product, handle inventory, or deal with customer support. You can start promoting products or services right away with minimal investment.
  2. Passive income potential: Once you’ve set up your affiliate links and promoted the merchant’s products, you can earn commissions on sales generated by those links without ongoing effort.
  3. Flexibility: Affiliate marketing allows you to work from anywhere, at any time, as long as you have an internet connection. You can choose the products you want to promote and the channels you want to use to promote them.
  4. Variety of products: As an affiliate marketer, you can choose from a wide range of products or services to promote, from physical products to digital products or services.
  5. No need to create products: Creating a product from scratch can be time-consuming and require specialized skills. With affiliate marketing, you don’t have to worry about creating products or handling the associated costs and risks.
  6. Easy to scale: A typical salesperson only sells products from one company. As an affiliate marketer, you can promote products from many different companies and earn commissions from all of them.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing with o Money & For Free

The journey to becoming an affiliate marketer can seem daunting at first. But if you break it down into smaller steps, achieving your goals becomes a lot easier.

So, Follow these seven simple steps :

1. Choose a Niche based on research :

Choose a Niche based on research for affiliate marketing

Choosing a niche for affiliate marketing can be a crucial step towards building a successful affiliate business. Here are some steps to help you choose a niche:

1. Identify your interests and passions : 

Think about the topics you enjoy talking about and researching. Your interest in a topic can help you stay motivated, produce better content, and build a community around your brand.

2. Analyze the competition :

Research other affiliate marketers in your desired niche to see what types of products they are promoting, how they are promoting them, and the types of content they are producing. This can help you identify gaps in the market or areas where you can differentiate yourself.

3.Consider the audience demand :

Look for a niche that has a significant audience demand, meaning there are people who are interested in the topic and willing to buy products related to it.

4. Evaluate the profitability of the niche:

Research the commission rates for affiliate products in your desired niche to ensure that it is a profitable market to enter.

5. Check for product availability: 

Ensure that there are enough products available in your niche to promote. You don’t want to choose a niche where there are few products available to promote, as this could limit your earning potential.

6. Keep it focused : 

Choose a niche that is specific enough to target a particular audience, but not too narrow that it restricts your content and product promotion.

Overall, the key is to find a balance between your interests, audience demand, profitability, and product availability. By following these steps, you can identify a niche that will work for you and help you build a successful affiliate business.

Some of the best niches include :

  • Hobbies: travel, photography, golfing, outdoors
  • Money: bitcoin, personal finance, credit cards, investing
  • Health: fitness, keto, diet , 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

If you’re looking to break into How Choose a Niche based on research, I suggest checking out How to Find a Profitable Niche in Affiliate Marketing

2. Find an Affiliate Program to join :

Find an Affiliate Program to join :

To find an affiliate program to join, you can follow these steps:

Identify your niche: Before you start looking for affiliate programs, identify the niche that you want to focus on. This will help you narrow down your search and find relevant programs.

Research affiliate programs: Use search engines to look for affiliate programs related to your niche. You can also use affiliate network websites like ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, and Amazon Associates to find relevant programs.

Check the commission rates: Look for programs that offer a commission rate that is worth your time and effort. Commission rates can vary significantly depending on the program, so make sure to compare rates across different programs.

Review the product or service: Check the product or service that the program offers to ensure that it is something that you would feel comfortable promoting. Make sure that it is a high-quality product that is relevant to your audience.

Check the affiliate terms and conditions: Review the program’s terms and conditions to ensure that they align with your values and goals. Some programs have restrictions on how you can promote their products, so make sure that you understand their policies before you join.

Here are some popular affiliate programs that you can consider :

Remember, it’s important to choose affiliate programs that align with your niche, values, and goals. By doing your research and reviewing the terms and conditions, you can find a program that is a good fit for you and your audience.

If you’re looking to break into How to Find an Affiliate Program to join, I suggest checking out 50+ of the Best Affiliate Programs That Pay the Highest Commission

3. Hosting an Affiliate Marketing Website :

Hosting an Affiliate Marketing Website

When you have identified your target audience and niche, the next step is to establish your affiliate marketing website. The first thing you need to do is acquire a domain name, which serves as your website’s address.

To ensure consistent branding and improve your search engine optimization (SEO), choose a domain name that is relevant to your niche. However, keep in mind that domain names that are simple and fit well with profitable niches may be pricier or already taken, so be careful not to opt for something unrelated or difficult to recall.

The next step is to obtain web hosting, which is akin to a bookshelf where a library book rests, while a domain name is like the book’s call number. It’s the location where all the data and files related to your website are stored.

Bluehost provides a comprehensive all-in-one package that includes both domain name registration and web hosting, as well as an effortless website builder, allowing you to get your website up and running in no time.

This may seem like a daunting task, but with Bluehost’s streamlined process, you can set up your website within minutes.

You can also, check Hostinger that provides every customer with all the necessary tools to have a fully-functional website up and running as quickly as possible. Hostinger provides an incredibly convenient drag & drop website builder and application installer.

4. Set Up Themes and Plugins :

Set Up Themes and Plugins

When creating your first affiliate marketing website, you don’t need to get too carried away with its appearance, and you don’t have to possess coding skills to construct a functional site. WordPress, a content management system (CMS), offers numerous user-friendly themes that make building your site a breeze.

If you’re uncertain about which theme to select, ThemeForest has compiled a list of the best themes for affiliate marketing websites. After setting up your website, plugins can be utilized to add and monitor your affiliate links.

A popular type of plugin among affiliate marketers is a link cloaking plugin. Link cloaking plugins like Pretty Links can help make your links appear more reliable and aid in balancing the internal and external links on each page, which can improve your search engine ranking.

5. Choose the Right Traffic Source for Your affiliate webiste :

There are many traffic sources that can work well for affiliate marketing, and the best one will depend on your niche, target audience, and promotional strategy. Here are a few popular traffic sources and how they work :

1.Search Engine Optimization (SEO): 

This involves optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords. This can drive free, organic traffic to your website, which can be great for affiliate marketing. However, it can take time to build up your rankings and see results.

On the most basic level, SEO is about:

  1. Understanding what your target customers are searching for
  2. Creating content around those topics
  3. Making sure Google understands clearly what your page is about
  4. Acquiring or earning links to push your pages higher in the search engines
  5. Ensuring Google can find, crawl, and index your content

2.Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising:

This involves placing ads on search engines or other websites and paying each time someone clicks on the ad. This can be an effective way to drive targeted traffic to your affiliate offers, but it can also be expensive, especially if you’re in a competitive niche.

But if you’re completely new to paid marketing and have no marketing budget (or are working with lower commission programs like Amazon Associates), then it might not be such a great idea.

3.Social media marketing: 

This involves using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your affiliate offers. You can build a following and engage with your audience, and also use paid advertising on these platforms to drive traffic. This can be a great way to build brand awareness and generate leads.

4.Email marketing:

This involves building an email list and sending out promotional emails to your subscribers. This can be a highly targeted and effective way to promote your affiliate offers, but it requires building a list and crafting compelling emails that encourage people to take action.

Infact, to build an email list, you need to persuade the readers on your site to sign up. That means offering something valuable, like a free eBook, an email course, and more.

6. Grow an audience :

Grow an audience

While creating content on your preferred platform is important, it is also beneficial to begin developing an email or SMS list. There are two primary reasons for doing so. Firstly, owning your contact list means you are not reliant on social media platforms to communicate with your audience.

As social media platforms can experience issues, having an email list allows you to contact your audience whenever you need to. Secondly, while some affiliate programs may prohibit you from adding affiliate links to your emails (such as Amazon’s affiliate program), you can still share links to content that contain affiliate links, enabling you to direct traffic to your content.

Moreover, this is an opportunity to provide even more value to your audience and further establish your authority in your niche by providing various content like industry reports, new blog posts, interviews, behind-the-scenes details, free digital downloads, and promotional deals (occasionally). Several email marketing software providers offer free plans, such as Getresponse, Aweber, or Shopify Email.

Hence, it’s essential to find the one that best suits your needs. Once you establish trust with your audience, you can begin promoting high-ticket affiliate programs that offer opportunities to earn significant profits. However, you may require an established niche and influence to encourage individuals to purchase more expensive products.

Final Thoughts: How to Start Affiliate Marketing Business

In conclusion, starting an affiliate marketing business in 2023 can be a lucrative and rewarding venture if done correctly. By following the steps outlined in this complete playbook, you can set yourself up for success and create a sustainable income stream from promoting other people’s products or services.

It’s important to focus on finding a profitable niche, selecting the right affiliate programs, building a strong online presence, and creating valuable content for your audience. By putting in the time and effort to establish your affiliate marketing business, you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with being your own boss and earning money on your own terms. Remember, success in affiliate marketing requires patience, persistence, and a willingness to adapt to changing market trends and consumer behaviors.

With the right mindset and strategies, you can achieve your goals and build a thriving affiliate marketing business in 2023 and beyond.

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