This is a guest post by Jordan Alexo, a digital marketer who's been making money online since 2011. He specializes in self-publishing, content creation and teaching others how to do the same thing he does best! He inspires you on his website with strategies that have worked for him and product reviews that help you grow your online business.
Are you looking for a way to start affiliate marketing but don't have any money? You're in luck! This step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to start affiliate marketing with no money.
We will also recommend some affordable programs you can join to get started. So what are you waiting for? Let's get started!
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is online marketing where you promote other people's products or services in exchange for a commission.
It's a great way to earn money online, and it doesn't require you to have your own product or service.
You should see an affiliate marketer as the middleman between the customer and the product owner.
Your job is to find potential customers and then promote affiliate offers. If they end up buying something, you earn a commission! It's that simple.
Many content creators start an affiliate blog but that can be costly.
If you want to start affiliate marketing with no money, all you need is a free social media account to promote products and earn commissions!
Since I share affiliate marketing strategies with awesome people like you, naturally my content may contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you take action (i.e. subscribe, make a purchase) after clicking one of these links, I'll earn some coffee money ☕️ which I promise to drink while creating more helpful content like this.Affiliate Disclosure
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Affiliate marketing works by you promoting a product or service to your audience. You will earn a commission if someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase.
Commission rates vary depending on the company and niche, they are typically around 15% to 50% of the sale.
If you promote a $200 product and somebody clicks on your affiliate link and buys it, you would earn a $30-$100 commission! Not too shabby, right?
Why Is Affiliate Marketing A Good Business Model?
There are many reasons why you should start affiliate marketing. Here are just a few:
- It's a great way to make money online without having your product or service.
- You can start with little to no money.
- It's a great way to supplement your income.
- You can work from anywhere in the world.
- You can be your own boss.
- You have no limits to how much money you can make.
- It's a great way to build an asset (your blog or YouTube channel) that you can sell later.
- It takes time and effort to build an audience and start making sales. You need to be patient.
- You may earn more selling your products, and it doesn't cost much to sell digital products.
You should see affiliate marketing as a long-term investment rather than a quick fix. It's not a “get rich quick” scheme. It usually takes six months to a year before you see results. Of course, you may make money online before.
But it's best to start with that mindset, so you're not disappointed later. However, if you stick with it, you can earn full-time from affiliate marketing! Some successful bloggers online have become millionaires from affiliate marketing.
So it is possible to make a lot of money with this business model!
5 Steps To Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money
Now that you know how to start affiliate marketing with no money, let's go over the 7 steps you need to take to get started:
Step 1) Pick a Sub-Niche
When it comes to affiliate marketing, it's important to choose a niche that you can talk about long-term without getting bored. Ideally something you're really knowledgable in, or at least willing to learn all about.
A few examples of niches are:
- Health and fitness
- Fashion and beauty
- Relationships and dating
- Financial and business
- Personal development
- Lifestyle design
Many of these niches are extremely profitable, and you will find a vast selection of products and services to promote. However, these larger niches are competitive. You can cut some of the competition by finding a sub-niche within these larger niches.
A sub-niche is a smaller, more specific niche within a broader niche. For example, within the health and fitness niche, you could have a sub-niche like “weight loss for women over 40.”
By targeting a smaller, more specific audience, you will have less competition and be able to make more sales.
You don't have to be locked into the sub-niche you initially pick. Let's say you make a few YouTube videos promoting diet programs for women over 40, and don't get any affiliate sales. You could switch your focus to a different sub-niche like “vegan weight loss” or “keto diet for beginners” to see what yields more success or interests you better.
The key is to start small and scale up as you start making sales. It's much easier to make sales in a smaller niche than in a large, competitive one.
Step 2) Find Good Affiliate Programs
You can promote both digital and physical programs and products as an affiliate.
A digital product is a product that can be delivered electronically, including e-books, video courses, and software. Whereas physical products would be anything needing to be shipped, from clothing to computers.
Digital products have a higher commission rate than physical products because the cost of producing them is lower. The commission rate for digital products can be between 20% and more than 75%.
Physical products have lower commission rates because the production costs are higher. The commission rate for physical products typically run between 5% and 20%.
Often physical products sell better compared to digital products. But you'll receive less money for each affiliate sale.
3 Top Affiliate Networks
Amazon Associates: Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world. They sell everything from books and electronics to furniture and home decor. Amazon has a huge selection of products in every niche, making it easy to find something to promote.
The commission rate is low, between 1% to 20%. But because Amazon is such a trusted brand, people are likelier to buy from them. You also earn everything your visitor purchases in the 24-hour period after clicking your link, not just the item(s) you promoted.
ShareASale: Many companies have affiliate programs they manage through pro networks like ShareASale. The network boasts a huge marketplace of different top notch affiliate programs, including FreshBooks, Tea Collection and Grammarly.
Most affiliate programs have a monthly minimum before you can get paid, and with ShareASale you can pool your earnings from all your programs to give yourself a better chance of getting paid commissions every month.
Clickbank: Clickbank is an affiliate network that specializes in digital products. They have a huge selection of e-books, video courses, and software programs in every niche. The commission rate is between 30% to 70%.
Another alternative is to go directly to the company's website and see if they have an affiliate program. Many companies have their own affiliate programs that you can sign up for. See Brilliant Affiliate's list of 500+ affiliate programs for more.
Step 3) Choose A Platform To Promote
Now that you've chosen a niche and found some good affiliate programs, it's time to decide how you're going to promote the products.
If you want to start affiliate marketing with no money, here are my top free platform picks:
1) YouTube Affiliate Marketing
One of the best ways to start affiliate marketing for free! YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and millions of people look for product reviews and How-To videos every day.
You can create videos reviewing products, give tips on using them, or even do unboxing videos. The key is to find a style that works for you and stick with it.
Be sure to include your affiliate link in your video descriptions and tell people to click the link to learn more.
People will watch your videos, and if they're interested in the product, they'll click on the link and be taken to the sales page. You'll earn a commission on any sales that you generate.
Consistency is key on YouTube. You need to upload videos regularly and build up a following of subscribers.
The more subscribers you have, the more views your videos will get and the more affiliate sales you'll make.
2) Twitter Affiliate Marketing
Twitter is a great way to promote affiliate products. You can share links to your blog posts, YouTube videos, or product pages.
You can also share other people's content that interests your followers. The key is to engage with your followers and build up a rapport with them.
If they trust you, they will likely buy the recommended products.
Make sure to use relevant hashtags so that your tweets show up in searches. And don't forget to include a call-to-action in your tweets, telling people to click on the link.
3) Facebook Affiliate Marketing
Another excellent platform for affiliate marketing is Facebook. You may build a fan page or group around a particular topic. On this page, you can provide your followers with relevant affiliate offers and content.
You can also join other people's relevant Facebook groups and engage in conversations. People are always looking for product recommendations.
If you have a great affiliate product, don't be afraid to share it. Just make sure the Facebook group allows it and you're not spamming the group with your links.
4) Wix Blog Affiliate Marketing
If you want to create affiliate marketing posts without paying for a website, you can start a free website with Wix.
All you need to do is write helpful blog posts about topics related to the products you're promoting. Include affiliate links in your posts and tell people to click on them to learn more.
To further boost your content exposure, share your blog content on Facebook and Twitter.
You can also use platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to do affiliate marketing for free.
Step 4) Find Money-Making Keywords
Blogging and YouTube videos are two of the best options for affiliate marketing. However, you also need to choose the right keywords. It isn't as hard as it seems!
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases that people search for when they're looking for information. Using the right keywords in your blog posts or videos will help people find your content.
And if you can get your content to rank high in the search engines, you'll get a lot of organic traffic (people coming to your site without you having to do any extra marketing).
How to Find Money-Making Keywords
You only need to think about three types of keywords for your videos or blog posts:
1) How To [Videos or Posts]
These videos or posts are where you provide informational content to your audience. For example:
- How To Put Up A Tent In The Rain Without Getting It Wet
- How To Make Pancakes
- How To Shoot A Basketball
This content helps you build your audience and establish yourself as an expert in your niche. You should always create relevant videos or posts around your affiliate products.
To find How-To keywords, simply type your main keyword into any keyword tool, and you'll see estimated search volume and a list of related keywords. You must analyze each keyword and see how much traffic it gets. Keyword tools can be pricey, but SEMrush offers a 7-day free trial or you can use Ubersuggest, which gives you 3 free daily searches.
You can also use YouTube to find how-to keywords for your videos. Just type How to [main keyword] or a variation into the search bar, and you'll see a list of related keywords.
2) Reviews [Videos or Posts]
These videos or posts are where you provide your audience with an honest review of a product. For example:
- Eureka Space Camp 4-Person Tent Review
- Joan 12-Inch Polished Cast-Iron Skillet Review
- Cosmic Unity 2 “A'ja Wilson” Review
When people are looking to buy a product, they want to know what other people think about it. That's why reviews are so popular.
To find keywords for your Review videos or posts, just type the product name into YouTube or Google followed by the word “review.”
For example, if you're promoting the Eureka Space Camp Tent, you would search for “Eureka Space Camp Tent review.”
This gives you an idea about what your competitors are doing with their videos and posts. You can see what you need to do to make your content better.
3) Best [Videos or Posts]
People often want to know the best product in a particular category before purchasing. For example:
- Best tents for winter camping
- Best travel affiliate programs
- Best cast-iron skillets
- Best basketball shoes
Imagine you have a channel to talk about weight loss for women over 40. You could make a video about “Best Diet Programs For Women Over 40” and discuss five or more popular diet programs for this demographic.
To find keywords for your Best videos or posts, just type the word “best” followed by the product name into YouTube or Google. See the videos or posts your competitors made to get an idea.
Step 5) Be Consistent And Keep Learning
If you want to make money through affiliate marketing, don't expect your first videos or blog posts to go “viral” and make you money.
It doesn't work like that. You must be consistent in your content creation and posting to build up your authority and following slowly but surely.
As they say, “Rome wasn't built in a day”. Anything worthwhile takes time.
The key is to focus on providing value daily and not getting discouraged if you don't see results immediately.
If you can stick with it and be consistent, you will eventually start seeing results from your affiliate marketing side hustle.
Keep pumping content out, and don't give up!
One final piece of advice is to keep learning about affiliate marketing. It's an ever-changing field, so you must stay on top of the latest trends and best practices.
I am a huge fan of high-quality online video courses. Some of them have completely changed my life. While many content creators are willing to give a lot of good info out for free, the best stuff (secret methods and life-changing tips) are usually saved for their paid products.
If you're serious about affiliate marketing and want to make money, I suggest eventually investing in a high-quality course. It will be worth every penny!
But I know how it is hard at the beginning when your budget is tight. There's also plenty of free resources and low-cost courses out there.
A great place to find inexpensive online courses is Udemy. You can find some impressive courses there for less than $20. Just type “affiliate marketing” into the Udemy search bar, and you'll find plenty of courses to choose from.
I hope this article helped you understand how to start affiliate marketing with no money.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to get started without any upfront investment thanks to social media.
So what are you waiting for? Pick one of the methods above and start today! Who knows where it might lead you.
Do you have any questions about how to start affiliate marketing with no money? Let me know in the comments below!