How To Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money? – Is It Even Possible In 2023?

How to start affiliate marketing with no money

With the world getting digitalized, the options to earn multiplied. Now people have loads of areas from where they can create a comfortable side hustle for earning. Affiliate marketing is one such area that has, of late, become a prime earning source for many.

The purpose of affiliate marketing is relatively simple. Companies need their products to get promoted for better sales. Successful affiliate marketers post unique affiliate links on their affiliate marketing blogs. When a user buys a product or service from that affiliate link, the company pays the affiliate marketer a commission on the sale.

Though the process looks rather straightforward, there is a lot that goes behind making affiliate marketing work a success. Here we will show you how to start affiliate marketing with no money in 2023.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

As we said, affiliate marketing is simple to understand. However, earnings are not instant, and getting visitors to your blog requires a lot of effort. You have to build a level of credibility that customers can associate with. The process of affiliate marketing can be described as follows:

  • You publish content on your blog or website
  • On the content, you add affiliate product links
  • The customer comes to your blog, reads the content, and clicks the link
  • A customer reaches the website of the seller and makes the purchase
  • The seller records this transaction in detail
  • The seller will receive the payment against your affiliate link
  • You receive the commission for the affiliate program, and both the advertiser and the affiliate benefit
How to start affiliate marketing with no money

There are three types of affiliate marketing that you can associate with.

  • Unattached affiliate marketing– In this affiliate program, the affiliate has nothing to do with the product. He does not offer any opinions about the product and its benefits. Also, they cannot recommend or offer any advice with regard to the product.
  • Related affiliate marketing– Here, the affiliate may have some relation to the product. That usually is being in the same niche as the affiliate products or services. The affiliate has enough credibility to draw organic traffic, and that is what they work on.
  • Involved affiliate marketing– This is that form where the affiliate has already used the product and recommends it on the basis of their experience. Their testimonial of using the product acts as the motivation for the customer to make the purchase.

Being an affiliate marketer does not require any prior experience in the field. You can start your affiliate marketing from scratch and build your website and the right niche accordingly.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing with No Money – Step-by-step guide

Everyone wants to earn some sort of extra earning. Affiliate marketing isn’t profitable until you follow all the steps accurately. It would take some time before the earnings start pouring in, and you know what affiliate marketing is. Here’s how to start affiliate marketing work:

Find your niche

Every industry offers an affiliate program. Therefore, the first step is to decide which niche you would like to focus all your attention on. Beginner affiliate marketers often make the mistake of associating with too many products at one time. This reduces the credibility of their website, and the returns are not as expected.

Find your niche

Before anything, here are some niches and top affiliate networks where you can try your luck:

  • Hobbies– Often, people love to share information about their hobbies. So, if you are into gardening, your website can offer products related to it. You can also research the hobbies people like to read about. The most commonly targeted hobbies could be photography, music, travel, sports, etc.
  • Finance niche– With the rise in cryptocurrency, this is one niche that people want to look forward to. You could write about cryptocurrency, insurance, financial offerings, etc. However, here, the scope of error is very less. Do not enter this niche unless you are a finance expert; otherwise, it will become hard to get people to your website.
  • Lifestyle– There is nothing more popular than a lifestyle blog. People want suggestions on how to decorate their homes, dresses to wear, etc. You can associate with companies that are offering similar products.
  • Technology– Tech products are often in demand. Also, generally, people do not buy any tech product without referring to other sources. Technology companies are willing to pay good commissions as each product is usually expensive in this niche. For example, SaaS-based products give around 20%-70% commission. You can also offer information about various software and get customers to convert.
  • Health and fitness-People are quite fitness conscious these days. You can sell gym memberships, energy drinks, protein bars, etc. Even fitness clothes and yoga mats are popular items that you can target.

Find affiliate programs in your niche.

Moving on, you would now have to find out which affiliate program to choose. You have shortlisted the niche, so you just need high-paying and profitable companies. You will have to apply for affiliate programs, though. Here are some channels you could use to start affiliate marketing with no money.

  • Online search– There is no better option than searching online. Just mention your niche and find companies that have a good commission structure. Also, you can look for affiliate directories. These are places where companies post about their programs. You can search on the basis of category, niche, commission offered, and type.
  • Check referral links of other affiliates– Your competitors would have also associated with some companies. First of all, do a competitor analysis and see which products they are focusing on. Study their affiliate links which would give an idea of the companies they are dealing with.
  • Choose products related to content– If you already have an affiliate program with content, it is obvious your products would be related to it. Find out companies that offer similar products and have a proper commission system. For instance, if you are blogging about pet care, you can affiliate with a pet food company.
  • Commission structure– Eventually, the profits are important too. Find out the commission structure of each affiliate marketing program and see which has the best offering for you. Do not assume that companies offering high commissions would mean more profits. It could be that the product’s conversion rate is low, and it would be tough for you to get customers to move ahead. Low commission payouts could indicate a high-converting product. Do your research before you commit anything.

Find the channels through which you will drive traffic

An affiliate program succeeds because of the amount of traffic to your affiliate website. Attaining the high-traffic figure in affiliate marketing doesn’t work unless you promote yourself in the right places. Understand the various platforms and their algorithms. This would help in finding affiliate programs that would match your affiliate goals. Let us have a look at the various platforms available for you:

affiliate marketing traffic channels
  • YouTube-Video content is gaining popularity, and YouTube is the prime place to be at. People spend a considerable portion of their online time on this platform. By creating a short YouTube video and adding your website affiliate link, you can hope to gain some traction. Plus, if your channel does well, you may claim earnings from the platform as well.
  • Instagram– Instagram is a visually creative social media platform where subscribers watch reels. By using high res images and videos, you can get customers to notice the product. Along with reels, you can even create your posts, stories, etc., and gain mileage. However, the initial days of working on Instagram can be difficult, so be prepared for the grind.
  • LinkedIn– The LinkedIn social media platform has evolved quite a bit in the last few years. Nowadays, brands use the platform to reach out to interested customers. Moreover, the platform comprises people who have purchasing power. If you are able to convince them about the product’s value, they are sure to buy it.
  • Twitter- Another place to gather traffic for a platform for affiliate marketing is Twitter. Here user engagement can reach very high proportions. The key to getting engagement is to leave comments on popular tweets. However, the platform works well if you are a paid member.
  • Pinterest-This social media platform is also very visual, and you can start here for free. But Pinterest is mostly for lifestyle items. Find out if there are enough customers checking on your niche product. Otherwise, all your effort may not yield any strong results.

Create content

An affiliate program is not a get-rich-quickly scheme. You will have to offer some value to the customers so they come there and buy the product. This value comes through great content which would inform the customer about the product and the needs it fulfills.

First, research the other affiliates operating in your niche and see what they are posting. Effective content should have all elements of storytelling, value, and entertainment. Once the customer reads the content, he should feel evoked enough to complete the sale. Keep the following things in mind when creating your content:

  • Address the audience’s requirement
  • Understand the demographic persona of your target audience and offer them related content.
  • Analyze competitor’s content and offer content that is one notch higher
  • Use multiple channels to promote the content
  • Incorporate catchy headlines and titles to get noticed
  • Be patient, as blog content takes time to yield results

One important area of content marketing that you will have to work on is adding keywords. The content you write has to rank on search engines to get traffic. To do that, you will have to incorporate keywords in your content.

Go to a search engine and write your niche. You will get some keywords that people are searching for. Shortlist the keywords that have maximum volume and use in the content. Check your competitor’s website to get an idea of the keywords that they are using.

affiliate marketing market size

Create loyal audience

You have created your content, but now you have to work on getting a loyal target audience base. Post on the platforms that you have already shortlisted, and make sure you keep updating new content. For that, you might have to formulate a content plan and follow it sincerely. To get more customers your way, you can adopt the following methods:

  • Collaborate with influencers in the niche and ask them to promote affiliate products
  • Ask your family and friends to share content in their circles
  • Use platforms like Reddit, Quora, and Medium to promote content
  • Create a series of content so customers have to come back to see the next level
  • Use options like video, infographics, and email marketing newsletters for better reach.
  • Affiliate marketing on TikTok is useful if you know what kind of content to create.

If you do not engage with your customers, chances are they might just lose interest. Notice any comment coming to your website and respond to it. This simple effort increases your credibility and increases the visibility of your website.

By understanding the customer’s feedback, you can create better content that is only going to work in your favor.

Make sales and money.

Now any average affiliate marketer is set to start making some good money. Start by optimizing your marketing efforts to increase income. Keep checking elements like headlines, images, and CTAs to find areas of improvement. Use tools to increase your chances of getting conversions your way. But the usage of the tool costs money. Some tools that would help to become an affiliate marketer are:

  • Ahrefs
  • Rank Math
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Analytics
  • Thirsty affiliates
make affiliate sales and make money

Some tips you can use in your content and get more affiliate sales are:

  • Include comparison tables with the affiliate link to buy the products
  • Use exit intent pop-up banners to yield results
  • Add offers to start promoting your product
  • Build a rapport with the company’s affiliate managers and ask them for an increment in commission.
  • Work on your online reputation and follower base through social media interactions.

Benefits of affiliate marketing

New affiliate marketing no doubt offers a very high earning potential. However, it takes time for you to understand all the nuances of this stream. Most companies need someone to promote their products. With affiliate marketing, they have another resource supporting their sales efforts. Some other benefits of learning affiliate marketing without money are:

Ease of setting up

Setting up an affiliate marketing business isn’t simple and does not require any major investment. You do not have to buy the products to showcase their qualities. Blogging and sharing content is what it will take to help your business succeed. This is one of the huge benefits of starting an affiliate business.

You can ask others to guest post on your website, which also would not require any investment from your side. If you can create content on your own, that aspect of your affiliate marketing business is also taken care of.

Low costs to sustain

Once the website is set up, it is possible to start without any major investment. You can promote your website and share content and continue building followers. Nurturing the followers is a quick way for many affiliates to sustain, and that, in turn, is a breeze with no monetary aspect attached to it.

High ROI

A considerable portion of online orders come from successful affiliate marketing. These sales come from minimal marketing expenses. The payment is performance-based, and the affiliate gets paid for the results. It is immaterial how much effort the affiliate offer has put into creating the website. Companies count the conversions coming from each affiliate. Affiliates begin affiliate marketing and receive a commission for the clients they bring, and they strive to increase the numbers.

Low-risk endeavor

The risk of failing at your affiliate marketing efforts remains low. You just have to be patient with the results, though. By constantly marketing your blog and content, a steady stream of income starts flowing in. Even companies have little to lose by associating with many affiliate marketers. They entrust a third party to take care of the sales of their products. In return, they only have to pay a part of their earnings in the form of sales. Affiliates also have to understand the suitability of the product, and the efforts start yielding results soon. Eventually, it becomes a marketing business with no money for them.

Targeted traffic

Affiliate marketing ensures that companies get only targeted traffic coming their way. They pick the affiliates; hence they do so by seeing the customers these people are targeting. For an affiliate, it is a profitable situation as he garners only the traffic that has some interest in buying the product. By using SEO tactics, the affiliates manage to get the customer’s attention, who have a high chance of converting.

No major expertise required

Another factor that works in favor of an affiliate program is that it does not need any kind of expertise for the affiliate to make it big. The field, practice, and planned marketing strategy get you on the path of growth. You can choose how to promote the products and where to target customers. A person with normal educational qualifications can start a successful affiliate marketing business. A basic knowledge of digital marketing is required for things to start working.

Supplementary income

You do not need to leave your present job to work as an affiliate marketer. You can maintain and promote an affiliate website as your side hustle. On the sidelines, you’ll start earning from the affiliate website, and it would contribute as a supplementary income source. However, if you choose to take it up full-time, then Affiliate marketing would offer you a high level of flexibility. You can work from the convenience of your home and at the time that suits you. As your efforts start reaping fruits, the hard work required to sustain the affiliate business will reduce considerably.

affiliate marketers' income


Affiliated marketing has become a hugely successful field in the last few years. Companies are satisfied that they are getting organic traffic from other sources as well. Affiliates can get into the affiliate marketing niche of their interest and derive sufficient earnings from their efforts.

As the digital marketing field grows, affiliates would enter into specific niche-based products as well. With restricted expertise, their efforts pay off, and the earnings multiply exponentially. Over time the growth of this industry is going to touch high levels. If done well, an affiliate program is a great source of income, and a lot of people have already vouched for this fact. The road to start generating money online, however, is slow, and patience with results helps.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much can a beginner make in affiliate marketing?

A beginner affiliate marketer can start an affiliate marketing business and earn anywhere between $0-$1000. Having a pre-existing follower base would help you in increasing your earning. However, if you just start building a business, it will take some time before you start earning.

What type of content is best for affiliate marketing?

While you can write any information content, readers want to know your opinion of the product. Hence product reviews, guides, and tutorials help in the online marketing of your affiliate products.

Is It Really Possible to Do Affiliate Marketing without a Website?

Yes, you can do affiliate marketing without a website. Existing affiliates will have to create a landing page where the customers would reach to make the final purchase. Advertising that page in various forms would get more traffic coming your way and help start affiliate marketing this year.

What Mistakes to Avoid as an Affiliate Marketer?

Though your affiliate marketing journey aims to sell your product, your intent should be on helping the customer. If you just focus on conversions, customers will not associate and will move away, leading to little to no money. Also, average content with no value is never going to help. The content offered should be persuasive and focused on getting customers to take action.

What is the size of the affiliate marketing industry?

The global affiliate marketing industry was billed at $15773 million in 2021. It is expected to grow at 9.89%, reaching $27780.9 million in 2027, making it a profitable online business idea.

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