Are you interested in affiliate marketing? Well, I don’t blame you. Today we will teach you how to start affiliate marketing with no money.
Affiliate marketing can be an additional income stream where you promote products and services to consumers that you are a fan of. It then directs them to the websites of retailers that sell these products and services. Commission is earned when someone you refer purchases something or completes an action, such as joining a service or email list. This is one of the rare cases where the advertiser and the affiliate win.
Also, the sky is the limit when it comes to earning potential. In fact, it is entirely possible to earn six figures with affiliate marketing.
But don’t you need a lot of cash to get started? Well, believe it or not, you can start affiliate marketing today for no money using the following strategies.
Decide your niche and audience.
You want to be successful in affiliate marketing. You must first establish yourself within a niche. But how exactly can you decide on a niche?
If possible, choose one that is both passionate and knowledgeable for you. “This helps you appear to be an authentic and trusted source of information to potential customers,” explains Mark Hayes at Shopify. In addition, it allows you to determine which brands and products to promote.
“Say, for example, you started a blog about dogs,” he adds. “You are a sprocker spaniel owner and you are passionate about helping other owners care for their sprockers.”
Then create a blog like Sprocker Lovers, which I’ll cover in more detail shortly. After that, you can promote your content by soliciting subscribers and encouraging them to share it. “Sprocker Spaniels are his niche, and he’s going to invest in marketing and content optimization to grow his audience of owners,” says Hayes.
This is exactly what Elise Dopson, founder of Sprocker Lovers, did.
“The niche you choose for your affiliate site determines how much time or effort you’ll need to build it to the point where you start seeing SEO results,” says Elise.
“The SERPs for software, marketing, and healthcare, for example, are dominated by huge blog sites with even bigger marketing budgets. The secret is to find untapped areas where the competition isn’t as fierce and get in before other people recognize you.”
To find out who and what your audience likes, you can use affiliate marketing tools like social listening tools, website analytics, and social media insights as you post more.
Don’t forget that you won’t be paid to post, it’s not free money. An affiliate program is a performance-based marketing system. By knowing what products your audience enjoys, you can recommend more affiliate products to them to increase your income.
Join the conversations of your audience.
There is another reason why you should first establish yourself in a niche and get to know your audience. You can join their conversations organically.
What does that mean exactly? Well, ClickBank’s Kyle Kostechka explains this in a YouTube video from October 2021. In a nutshell, this is nothing more than commenting on affiliate links. The caveat here is that you want to leave these comments where your audience hangs out, be it on Reddit, message boards, or forums.
Use the example of people selling Trump coins. Now, I’m not going to engage in political speech here. The point Kyle was making was that the people selling these products look like hot cakes. How? Because these coins were shared on platforms where political conversations were taking place.
For example, people were leaving comments on message boards like, “Hey, if you really want to hang out with Nancy Pelosi, you really should look at this product.” But that comment only works when the audience is discussing issues like how sick they are of the Democrats.
On the other hand, these comments would not work in unrelated discussions. For example, you would not sell Trump coins when the topic was about a sick family member or rumors about sports trading. If you did, that’s spam. And honestly, why do you enjoy spam?
Even worse? Engaging in spam techniques could get you banned from the platform as this could be a violation of the platform.
3 Build your presence on social networks.
What if I told you that you can monetize your online presence through social media? This can be achieved by placing affiliate links on your posts, updates, and profiles. But instead of going too far, focus on the social channels where your audience hangs out.
Additionally, you should also consider the pros and cons of each social media platform.
- Advantages: It is the largest social media platform available with close to 3 billion global users. Suffice it to say that a large audience can be accessed.
- Cons: It’s not as appealing to a younger audience. And it’s not that effective to use organic search.
- Advantages: Great for displaying products and services because it’s so visual. Also. video content such as reels and stories are heavily emphasized.
- Cons: The organic reach of news posts is low.
- Advantages: Pinterest offers the advantage that you can directly share affiliate links on the pins you create. Leverage the platform to share quality as well as trending content in your niche.
- Cons: Pinterest traffic targets a very specific audience.
- Advantages: With around 397 million users, Twitter is another popular social media platform that’s great for showing off what you have to offer.
- Due to Twitter’s character limit (280) for each post, affiliate marketing can be challenging.
- Advantages: Excellent for SEO. In addition, there is a worldwide audience of 2.3 billion people.
- Cons: Most niches are awash with competition. And you will need to invest in professional, high-quality videos.
- Advantages: Impressive organic reach. In addition, it is the leading platform for professionals.
- Cons: Mainly aimed at business-to-business audiences.
- Advantages: Short videos that don’t need a professional look like YouTube. Also, the experience is more genuine. Furthermore, TikTok has become a trend-setting platform.
- Cons: Descriptions do not have clickable links.
There are other ways to market your affiliate products besides social media. You can establish your credibility and engage readers to click on your affiliate links by posting on free platforms like Medium, Blogger, Quora, Steemit, and Hubpages. However, most of the major players, such as WordPress, Wix, and Webley, are also free. However, you will have to pay for website hosting.
Regardless of what blogging platform you use, producing high-quality content within your niche is paramount. When you do, you can generate a lot of traffic to your affiliate links using these free blogging platforms. Some suggestions would be;
- product reviews
- How to do it
- questions and answers
- The best tips and tricks.
On both Medium and Steemit, affiliate links can be used within your content, as long as certain conditions are met. And, although hosting is not free with WordPress, it is extremely flexible. That means you can create whatever content your audience is looking for, as well as place affiliate links where you need them.
Leave glowing reviews.
Reviewing a product or a brand in a positive light is at the heart of affiliate marketing. With that in mind, you have an advantage when using review platforms. If you are consistent in your review process, people will start to trust your input.
However, it is important to give honest feedback. And, most importantly, only on products and services that you have personally experienced.
Where can you leave these reviews? The most obvious places would be review websites or the review section of a product website.
This does not allow you to give honest feedback, it can also promote your affiliate links. Or you can direct other viewers to your original content, like your blog. You can then add more detailed reviews and explanations to your content while incorporating your affiliate links into the product description.
Choose an affiliate platform.
As soon as you have selected a niche and built a following online, you can apply for affiliate networks. In addition to being free to join, these programs are also looking for publishers who can promote their products effectively.
You can search for affiliate products on these top affiliate networks:
- FT Affiliate
- Share on Sale
- Amazon Associates
- Rakuten Advertising
This is just a small selection of the many affiliate programs available. To find the best platform for your business, you need to do your own research; simply searching for your keyword + (affiliate program) in Google can help. To be successful in this endeavor, you need to be specific and find a niche that appeals to you and your audience.
final words of advice
You don’t need to make a huge investment to get started with affiliate marketing. In most cases, all you need is time, effort, and consistency.
When you start making money with affiliate marketing, you can reinvest some of your earnings. For example, you may want to use paid strategies such as advertisements and purchase equipment such as microphones, computers, and cameras. Until then, use the strategies above to start affiliate marketing with no money.
Affiliate Marketing FAQ
1. What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is fundamentally about relationships. An affiliate relationship is one between a merchant (Retailer) and you, the affiliate, as well as one between you and the consumer.
Your blog, website, social media feed, or other platform allows you to promote the merchant’s products or services. When consumers purchase products/services from the brand based on your promotion, the merchant pays you a share of the revenue.
Affiliates may receive incentives to join; special discounts or special offers to get acquainted with a merchant’s brand. Examples include product giveaways, blog post bonuses, and commissions.
2. What is an affiliate program?
An affiliate program is an all-in-one package that you offer a potential publisher to promote your product or service. Details about the product, product retail value, commission levels and promotional materials are required.
3. What is a commission rate?
As a general rule, commission rates are based on a percentage of the sale (for example, 10%), but sometimes a fixed amount can also be charged. Each merchant determines the commission rate.
4. Are there any costs associated with signing up for an affiliate program?
Getting involved in an affiliate program for a brand is free. Affiliate networks allow you to sign up for as many programs as you like. It’s free for you to do it.
5. How big is the affiliate marketing industry?
In the US, about $6.8 billion is invested in this industry. The global investment in this industry is equal to or greater than $13 billion.
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