‘’How to start affiliate marketing with no money?’’
I’ve heard this question a lot and it’s actually easier than you think.
Affiliate marketing is promoting someone else’s product in exchange for a commission.
This is what makes it such a beginner-friendly side hustle because you don’t need a product, don’t have to deal with customer support and you can start without investing any cash.
While affiliate marketing is easy for anyone to start, this doesn’t mean it’s easy to make money.
Many people quit in the first few months after not seeing any financial return.
You have to be willing to commit for the long term, always be learning and tweaking, take action every day and invest in your knowledge.
So, if you want to start affiliate marketing with no money – be willing to work!
I’m going to show you the methods I’ve used and seen others use to start affiliate marketing free. After reading this article, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to start your affiliate business.
Free Affiliate Marketing Resources to Get Started
As a new affiliate marketer, I understand funds can be tight. I’ve been there! My advice is to seek out free resources which will advance your knowledge.
Follow other successful affiliate marketers, watch what they do and how they do it. They are successful for a reason. Model what they do until you have enough experience to innovate.
Free Affiliate Marketing Training
Watch Free Videos on YouTube
YouTube is a free university and many top affiliates post videos containing in-depth affiliate marketing guides. Subscribe to my YouTube channel which contains many videos for beginner affiliate marketers.
First Steps to Start Affiliate Marketing with No Money
By now you should have a general idea of what affiliate marketing is.
Now you need to get yourself organised so you can get started. You actually need very little in the beginning. Here are the basics;
1. Choose a Niche Topic
To be a successful affiliate, you need to pick a niche topic that you love or specialise in. Becoming a master in one area is how you’ll build an audience who trusts you and buys from you.
Have a think about how you will make yourself stand out from the rest?
For example: there are millions of people talking about weight loss.
But you could differentiate yourself by talking about: losing belly fat for women over 50. Or muscle building for teenagers.
These are way more specific and will get you targeted followers who need certain products.
Topics that do well in affiliate marketing are; health, wealth and relationships.
If you can help people in these areas, in your own unique niche, you will make money.
2. Make a List of Products to Promote
Next, you need to find quality products that help your audience.
It’s best if you promote products you have used yourself and know are good. Otherwise, you may end up hurting your reputation by promoting rubbish.
If you have the funds, take courses and read eBooks. If you find them useful, apply to affiliate for the product.
Other ways to find affiliate products are;
- Google search. Type in ‘niche + affiliate programme’. An example is ‘hair loss affiliate programme’ or ‘weight loss women affiliate programme’
- Search large affiliate platforms such as Clickbank, ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, Amazon Associates, Rakuten Marketing and many more
3. Choose a Platform to Build an Audience
To make money affiliate marketing, you need an audience to promote to.
The good news is; you can use free social media platforms to get targeted followers. If you have a large following on social media already, great! If you don’t, this is where you have to take time to work at it.
My advice is to start with one or two social platforms in the beginning. Trying to be everywhere just leads to overwhelm.
Some of the best platforms for affiliate marketing are; Twitter, Pinterest, Quora, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
I’m going to discuss 3 of the platforms I’ve used and know work well.
Affiliate Marketing on Twitter
Twitter is a great platform to make money on. It has over 330 million monthly active users and it’s a powerhouse for viral content occasionally making people famous overnight!
Here’s a quick start guide to affiliate marketing on Twitter and getting your profile set up the right way.
- Set up your bio the right way
- Have a clear photo of your face or quality avatar
- Write a short paragraph telling people what you do and what you can do for them
- Pin a successful tweet to the top of your feed for social proof
- Spend time building your followers by commenting on other big accounts
- Re-tweet and quote re-tweet big accounts
- Make meaningful connections and talk to people
- Tweet 3-5 times a day helpful, inspiring content
- Once you gain an audience, start tweeting your affiliate offers
Further reading: Affiliate Marketing on Twitter: Make Money Tweeting
Download my FREE guide: How to Make Your First $1,000 on Twitter below.
Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest
According to statistics, 70% of people go on to Pinterest to make a buying decision. This means Pinterest is a top platform to start affiliate marketing on.
You don’t need a blog to start promoting affiliate products on Pinterest. But it helps if you have a blog, getting you a higher conversion rate.
But to start affiliate marketing with no money, you can just create affiliate pins and share other people’s relevant pins.
Here’s a quick start Pinterest affiliate marketing guide;
- Set up a new Pinterest business account or convert your personal account
- Sign up for a free Canva account to design your pins
- Decide on your target niche eg; Mom and baby, home décor, food and recipes, making money
- Find relevant affiliate products
- Set up Pinterest boards with keyword-rich descriptions
- Share relevant pins to your boards so Pinterest knows the topic
- Create pins daily. Add the original affiliate link, do not use a shortener
- For every pin you post share 3-5 pins from other creators
- Apply to contribute to group boards for a wider audience
Further reading: How to Start Pinterest Affiliate Marketing and Make Money
Affiliate Marketing on YouTube
YouTube is a great platform to start affiliate marketing with no money. Many creators have become millionaires from niche YouTube channels.
You can shoot a video today and still get people viewing it for years to come and make money if you’ve added affiliate links.
Start making videos on your phone or with a decent laptop camera. You can get by with free or very low costing editing software like Filmora, Shotcut, DaVinci Resolve, Apple IMovie and many more.
Here are the basics to start affiliate marketing on YouTube;
- Decide on your channel niche. Some that do well are; educational, photography and tech equipment reviews, gaming, vlogging, fitness, beauty and news roundups
- Choose affiliate products to promote. If you are reviewing tech gear, Amazon Associates is worth checking out. Clickbank has a ton of digital products also
- Set up your YouTube channel with a professional banner image, a clear photo, bio telling people what you do and any links to your other social accounts or free lead magnet
- Start creating great video content and get a regular post schedule
- Follow other accounts in your niche and comment to build your following
- Add affiliate links to the description of your videos
- Promote your videos across other social accounts for exposure
Other Ways to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free
We are so lucky to be living in the digital age. Social media platforms have ready-made audiences just waiting to be promoted to.
But to be successful with affiliate marketing, it’s a good idea to have multiple ways of promoting your affiliate links.
Starting an email list is a smart way to increase your affiliate earnings.
By just promoting affiliate links, you may never see someone again after a sale.
If you offer a free lead magnet and get people onto your email list, you can promote products to them for years.
Mailchimp is an email autoresponder software with a free starter plan. You can use it up to the point you get 2,000 subscribers which is not bad.
Create a free, valuable lead magnet like a PDF guide and create an email sequence in Mailchimp. Link to this on social and collect emails.
Email your list weekly with a mix of valuable content and affiliate products you’re promoting.
Create an EBook
By creating a small eBook, you can add your affiliate links into the pages.
For example, if your eBook is about building a blog in WordPress, you can add links to products you use like paid themes, domain hosting and any courses you’ve taken.
Sell your eBook on Amazon Kindle, SmashWords, Kobo Writing Life and on your social media.
Earn cash from the sale of your eBook and from the affiliate links inside.
EBooks are great passive income streams, potentially making you money for years to come.
Further reading: How To Write EBooks for Money (Complete Beginner Guide).
Free Content Publishing Platforms
To start affiliate marketing with no money, you can write articles on free content publishing platforms and link to your affiliate products.
This has to be done with caution as each platform will have their own rules regarding affiliate marketing. Make sure you read these before you start so you don’t get banned.
Some popular free content platforms are;
- LinkedIn Articles
- Scoop It
- Article Alley
Make sure you write long-form, informative articles and not just obvious promotional posts. Take your time to build up your following first, before you start recommending products.
Start Affiliate Marketing with No Money – Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are many ways to start affiliate marketing with no money.
Some affiliates may only ever make a few hundred pounds a month. But super affiliates who are in it for the long haul can make 10 – 100k per month.
There really is no cap on the income potential from affiliate marketing.
Remember: it takes time to start to see profits. But your daily small efforts will compound over time and could potentially make you a full-time income in the future.
Focus on creating content and building your audience in the first 6 months.
The more helpful you are, the more people will see you as an authority and someone to trust.
How are you going to start affiliate marketing for free?
Pinterest? Twitter? A free content publishing platform?
Let me know in the comments….
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.