Would you like to know how to start affiliate marketing with no money?

Perhaps you want to minimize your risk or just dip your toes into the affiliate world to see if it's for you. Whatever the reason, I’m here to tell you that you CAN GET STARTED with affiliate marketing without money.

Disclosure: This content may contain a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

I understand that no one wants to spend their own savings on a new venture. If that’s stopping you from getting started with affiliate marketing, you need to read this post.

We’re going to cover some of the best ways to start up your business with almost no money at all! I’ll tell you the best way to start affiliate marketing and what exactly you do.

In this guide, I want to take you through all the steps to ensure you are set up for success in affiliate marketing even without investing a lot of money.

But before we get into the details, let’s learn some basics.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. Before I explain how affiliate marketing works, you need to know the four key players involved in it:

  • The Merchant (also known as “retailer” or “brand”): It is the company selling the product.
  • The Network: It is the party that facilitates the offers and deals between merchants and affiliates.
  • The Customer: It is the person who clicks on an affiliate link and makes a purchase from the merchant.
  • The Affiliate: It is the party that uses its marketing skills to drive traffic to the merchant's website and generate sales.

For affiliate marketing to work, all four of these key players need to be involved. 

The merchant needs to have a product to sell. The network needs to have merchants and affiliates to work with. The customer needs to be able to click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. And the affiliate needs to have the necessary marketing skills to drive traffic and generate sales.

In affiliate marketing, merchants offer an array of products, online courses, services, and even physical goods that want to be sold. 

The publisher promotes these products on their website or blog and when a sale is made, they receive a commission from the merchant. 

For every sale made, the merchant gets a cut while the affiliate earns a commission. And finally, the customer completes the purchase. 

Here is an infographic that explains how affiliate marketing works:

image8 1
Image via Great Learning

Why would anyone want to do this? 

There are many reasons why you might want to get involved in affiliate marketing. For example, it can be an effective way for businesses to promote their products and services. It can also be a good way for people with technical skills to earn extra money. 

And it can be an interesting way for people who are passionate about particular topics to share their knowledge with others. If you are reading this article, I know you are already considering dipping your toes into the world of affiliate marketing. But if limited resources are making you have second thoughts, let me clear the air for you.

Do You Need Money to Start Affiliate Marketing?

It’s a common question: Does affiliate marketing cost money?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. You don't need money to start affiliate marketing, but it will definitely help you if you have some. 

Here's a breakdown of what you can do with and without money when starting with affiliate marketing.

If you have money:

You can use it to buy a domain name and hosting, which will make your site look more professional and credible. You can also use it to pay for advertising, hire someone to design your website, or outsource other tasks that need to be done.

If you don't have money:

You can still start affiliate marketing! You'll just need to be creative with how you promote your links. You can use social media, start a blog, or even make videos. All of these things are free, and they can help you get started.

So, as you can see, it is possible to start affiliate marketing without any money. A lack of resources should not be stopping you from starting your own affiliate program. 

The only thing you need to be a successful affiliate marketer is dedication. You need to be willing to put in the hard work and hours required to make your affiliate marketing business a success. If you're not dedicated, then you will likely fail.

Former CEO of ClickFunnels, Russell Brunson, also has similar views on affiliate marketing. Check out his quote below:

quote poetry
Image via Quote Poetry

However, please keep in mind: Affiliate marketing is 22. ShameNOT a get-rich-quick scheme. It's a real business that requires real work. But if you're willing to dedicate yourself to your affiliate marketing business and be consistent and patient, then you can achieve great things.

So if you want to be a successful affiliate marketer, remember: 

Dedication is the only thing you need. Work hard, and don't give up on your dreams. Results may take a while to show but you should go on.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money

So, you’ve decided that you want to get started with affiliate marketing even if you don’t have a big capital to fall back on. Not a problem! In this section, we will discuss how and where to start affiliate marketing if you have no or limited funds.

Step 1: Find a Niche

If you're looking to get into affiliate marketing, the first step is finding a niche. 

A niche is simply a group of people with a shared interest or need. When it comes to affiliate marketing, your job is to identify a group of people who are searching for products or services in your niche and then promote those products or services to them.

So, how do you find a niche for your affiliate marketing program?

There are a few ways to go about finding a niche. The first is to think about what interests you. If you have a hobby or passion, there's likely a group of people out there who share that interest. For example, if you're into gardening, you could promote products related to gardening.

If you want to be a successful affiliate marketer, you need to be interested in your niche. You should also believe in the products or services that you are promoting. It can set you apart from the competition.

Another way to find a niche is to think about what needs people have. If you find that everyone around is looking for tips on personal finance, you could pick that as your niche. 

Ideally, the niche you pick should be something that you are good at and that is in demand. Of course, you should also look at the profitability and conversion rates while shortlisting niches. After all, you don’t want to pick too much effort into building something that may not yield good returns. 

Check out this infographic to understand different types of niches:

find a niche
Image via Coupler.io

But please know that not all niches in affiliate marketing are created equal. In fact, some niches can be quite profitable while others may not be worth your time. It really depends on the niche and what type of products or services are being offered. 

Some of the most profitable niches for affiliate marketing include: 

  • Technology
  • Personal Finance
  • Lifestyle and Wellness
  • Pet Care
  • Fashion and Beauty
  • Traveling
  • Gaming

Step 2: Find High-Paying Affiliate Programs

If you're new to affiliate marketing, you might be wondering how much you can actually make. The answer is that it depends on the program you choose to promote. Some affiliate programs will only pay out a small commission, while others will provide you with a generous percentage of each sale.

To be successful at affiliate marketing, it's important to find high-paying affiliate programs that fit your niche. This is a smart affiliate strategy that can save you time and ensure that you get the most out of your efforts.

By promoting products and services that offer a high commission, you'll be able to earn a good income from your efforts.

One great way to find high-paying affiliate programs is to search for them in affiliate directories. These are online databases that list all of the available affiliate programs for a given niche or industry.

To find relevant directories, simply do a Google search for something like “affiliate directory + [your niche].” This should bring up a few different options that you can explore. Once you're in a directory, take some time to browse through the different programs and see which ones might be a good fit for your site.

Another option is to reach out to companies directly and ask if they have an affiliate program. This is a great way to build relationships with brands that you already know and trust. 

One of the best ways to find high-paying affiliate programs is to search online. There are many different directories and databases that list affiliate programs, and most of them are free to join. To help you get started, here are some popular affiliate networks that you can check out:

  • ShareASale
  • Commission Junction (CJ)
  • ClickBank
  • Rakuten Advertising
  • Pepperjam
  • AvantLink
  • Awin

In addition to this, many large companies also have their own affiliate programs that you can check out. Here are a few of the best affiliate programs from large companies:

1. Amazon Associates: This is one of the most popular affiliate programs out there. You can promote anything sold on Amazon and earn a commission on every sale. The commissions vary depending on what category the product is in, but they range from around four percent to ten percent.

amazon associates
Image via BloggersIdeas

2. eBay Partner Network: This program allows you to promote eBay auctions on your site and earn a commission on every auction that is sold. The commissions vary depending on the final value of the auction, but they can be as high.

ebay partner network
Image via Wasabi Theme

3. Target Affiliate Program: You can promote Target products on your site and earn a commission on every sale. You can earn up to eight percent for certain categories.

target affiliates
Image via Business of Apps

Whichever method you choose, make sure you vet the shortlisted affiliate programs thoroughly. As an affiliate marketer, you need to be able to vet programs to see if they are the right fit for your audience.

How to Vet Affiliate Programs

There are a few key things you should look for when evaluating an affiliate program.

The first thing you want to look at is the commission structure. Does the program offer a good commission rate? Are there any restrictions on how you can earn commissions? For example, some programs only pay out commissions after a certain amount of sales have been made.

Another important factor to consider is the cookie duration. This is how long a customer has to make a purchase after clicking on your affiliate link before the sale is attributed to you. The longer the cookie duration, the better. This gives your audience time to make a decision and also increases your chances of getting credit for the sale.

Finally, you want to look at the program's terms and conditions. Make sure you understand everything before signing up. 

Image via Easy Affiliate

Some programs have strict rules about how you can promote their products. Others may require you to meet certain criteria before you can start earning commissions.

Step 3: Select Services or Products That You Want to Promote

Once you have a list of high-paying affiliate programs that fit your niche, it's time to decide what type of products or offers will work best for your audience.

There are many factors to consider when choosing what products or services to sell via affiliate marketing. Here are a few tips to help you decide:

  • Research the demand for the product or service. If there is little to no demand, then it's likely not worth your time and effort to promote it.
  • Consider the competition. If there are already many other affiliates selling the same product or service, then you'll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. This could mean promoting a unique feature of the product/service or offering a lower price than your competitors.
  • Think about what you're passionate about. It's much easier (and more fun!) to sell something that you're interested in and believe in. If you're not excited about the product or service, then it will be difficult to convincingly promote it to others.
  • Make sure the product or service is reputable and of high quality. You don't want to waste your time promoting something that no one will buy, or that isn't a good representation of your brand.

Step 4: Decide on a Traffic Source

There are a few reasons why choosing a traffic source before you start your affiliate program is important. First, it will help you focus your efforts on one specific channel, and avoid spreading yourself too thin by trying to promote your program across multiple channels simultaneously. 

Second, it will allow you to track your results more effectively and see which traffic source is driving the most conversions for your business.

So how do you choose the right traffic source for your affiliate program? 

The best way to start is by thinking about your target audience and where they are most likely to be found online. If you're targeting stay-at-home moms, for example, you'll want to focus on traffic sources like parenting blogs or specific social media groups.
Along with email and SEO for affiliate marketing, social media can be a goldmine of clicks and conversions. In order to maximize your affiliate marketing efforts, it is important to know which social media traffic sources are most common.

Here are some of the most popular social media traffic sources for affiliate marketing programs:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • TikTok

Each of these platforms has its own unique benefits and can be leveraged in different ways to generate traffic for your affiliate program. 

For example, Facebook is great for creating brand awareness and building relationships with potential customers, while Twitter is ideal for sharing links and driving website traffic. 

Pinterest and Instagram are both excellent visual platforms that can be used to showcase products and drive sales. YouTube and TikTok are powerful video platforms that can be used to create informative and entertaining videos about your products or services.

Finally, LinkedIn is great if you want to attract professionals or B2B buyers. It is ideal for promoting your products or services via published articles.

By understanding the main benefits of each social media platform, you can more effectively use them to drive traffic and sales for your affiliate program.

Step 5: Create Content to Build Trust

If you're interested in affiliate marketing but don't have a lot of money to start with, focus on creating great content. It's one of the best investments you can make in your business.

Building trust with your audience is essential if you want to be successful at affiliate marketing. And content is one of the best ways to do it. 

Creating content is important for a few reasons. 

First, it helps you build trust with your audience. When people see that you're regularly publishing high-quality content, they'll begin to trust your word and eventually see you as an authority in the field. And when they trust you, they'll be more likely to buy products that you recommend.

Second, content is what will help you rank on Google. If you want people to find your website, you need to have content that's optimized for search engines. 

And finally, good content is what will keep people coming back to your website. If you can provide value and keep people entertained, they'll be more likely to stick around – which means they're more likely to buy something from you eventually.

So, what kind of content should you create to boost your affiliate marketing campaigns? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Product Reviews: If you're promoting products, it's important to give your honest opinion about them. Write detailed reviews of the products you're promoting, and tell your readers what you like and don't like about them.
  • How-to Guides: Many people search the internet for information on how to do things. If you can provide helpful, step-by-step guides on topics related to the products you're promoting, people will be more likely to trust you and buy from you.
  • Informative Articles: In addition to product reviews and how-to guides, you can also write informative articles on topics related to the products you're promoting. This is a great way to show your expertise and build trust with your target audience.
  • Listicles: You can also list down the best categories available in a particular category. Here’s an example of such a post from my own website:
shane barker seo audit tools heading screenshot
Image via ShaneBarker
  • Entertaining Videos: People love watching videos, so why not create some entertaining videos related to the products you're promoting? You can even do product demonstrations or unboxings.
  • Tutorials: People are always looking for new ways to do things, so why not show them how to do it using your affiliate product? Tutorials can be a great way to help people make decisions about affiliate products. 
  • Comparisons: Comparing two similar products (or even two different products) can be a great way to help your readers make a decision about which one to buy. I have several such posts on my website that you can look up for inspiration. 

Here is a screenshot from one such comparison post I wrote about Semrush and Similarweb:

semrush similar web pros comparision
Image via ShaneBarker
  • Testimonials: If you've used the product yourself and had a good experience, why not share your testimonial with your readers?

These are just a few ideas for content that you can create to build trust with your audience. If you can provide value and show that you're an expert in your field, people will be more likely to buy from you. 

Step 6: Grow Your Audience

The internet is a big place. You're not going to have much luck finding an audience for your affiliate marketing business if you don't put in the effort to grow it.

As an affiliate marketer, one of your main goals is to grow your audience. After all, the more people you have reading your content and clicking on your links, the more money you'll make. But how do you go about growing your audience? 

Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure your content is high quality and informative. This means creating blog posts, videos, or other pieces of content that keep them hooked. If you're not providing value to your audience, they're not going to stick around for long.
  • Share your content on social media. This is a great way to reach new people who might be interested in what you have to say. Make sure you distribute your content across multiple channels where your target audience is active. 
  • Participate in online communities related to your niche. This will help you meet new potential readers and followers who can help spread the word about your blog or website. This will enable you to build up a reputation as an expert and thought leader in your field, which will make people more likely to trust you and your recommendations. 

    In addition to this, you can also join popular affiliate communities like STM Forum to further learn what others are up to in your industry.
stm forum
Image via stmforum
  • Collaborate with other bloggers or influencers in your niche. This can help you reach a whole new audience that you might not have otherwise had access to.
  • Consider running ads on social media or search engines. This can help you reach a wider audience than you would through organic growth alone.
  • Partner with other businesses or influencers in your niche. This can help you tap into their existing audiences and give you a boost in exposure. Just make sure that you're partnering with reputable companies and individuals who are actually relevant to your target market.

Step 7: Interact With Your Audience Regularly

There are a few key reasons why it's important to interact with your audience, even if you're just getting starting with affiliate marketing. First, building a rapport with your audience creates trust. If people feel like they know and can trust you, they're more likely to buy products that you recommend. 

Second, interacting with your audience helps you to better understand their needs and desires. This allows you to more effectively market products that will meet their needs and wants. 

Finally, engaging with your audience helps to create a sense of community around your brand or product. People are more likely to buy from brands they feel a connection with. 

So, if you're looking to start affiliate marketing with no money, make sure to focus on creating relationships with your audience. It'll pay off in the long run!

If you're not careful, affiliate campaigns can quickly turn into a snooze fest. No one wants to be bombarded with a million ads, no matter how well-targeted they are. So what's the key to keeping your audience engaged?

The answer is simple: interaction.

You need to find ways to get your audience involved in what you're doing. Ask them questions, start discussions, and get them thinking about your brand. The more you can get them interacting with you, the more likely they are to stick around – and maybe even make a purchase.

This could also mean commenting on their blog posts, replying to their tweets, or even sending them a personal email. 

Whatever method you choose, make sure that you're genuine and that you're providing value. Nobody likes feeling like they're being sold to, so don't come across as pushy or sales-y.


1. How can I get into affiliate marketing with no money?

With a little effort, you can get started in affiliate marketing without spending any money. Here are a few suggestions to get started:

– Look for affiliate programs that offer high commission rates.
– Participate in affiliate forums and chat rooms.
– Create content that builds trust.
– Distribute your content via multiple social media platforms.

For more information on how to get started with affiliate marketing with no money, check out the above section.

2. How do I start affiliate marketing as a beginner?

Here is a quick step-by-step guide that you can follow to get started with affiliate marketing as a beginner:
– Choose a niche.
– Look for high-paying affiliate programs.
– Choose products or services that you want to promote.
– Choose a primary traffic source.
– Create engaging content.
– Grow your audience.
– Interact with your audience regularly.

3. How much can a beginner make in affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it's a way to earn income through promoting products or services you believe in. 

The amount of money you can make will depend on many factors, including the time and effort you put into promoting your affiliate links, the popularity of the products or services you promote, and the commission rate offered by the affiliate program.

With that said, it is possible to make a decent income from affiliate marketing if you're willing to put in the work.

4. Do we need money to start affiliate marketing?

No, you don't need a lot of money to start affiliate marketing. In fact, you can become an affiliate marketer for free. All you need is a website or blog and some time to write quality content. You can also join high-paying affiliate networks to get started.

5. Can I do affiliate marketing for free?

If you want to get started in affiliate marketing, there are a few things you'll need:

– A website or blog
– An audience
– A product or service to promote

You can absolutely create a website or blog for free. But in order to make any money from affiliate marketing, you'll need to invest some time and effort into growing your audience.

Ready to Get Started With Affiliate Marketing Without Money?

While it is true that you'll need to invest some time and effort into your affiliate marketing business, you don't necessarily need to have a lot of money.

As we discussed in this post, there are a number of ways to get into affiliate marketing for free. I hope the tips we mentioned help you create a successful career in affiliate marketing. 

What are you waiting for? Get started now! And if you have any questions related to how to start affiliate marketing with no money, please feel free to mention them in the comments section. I’ll be happy to answer it for you. 

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