Yes. If you want to make the ‘big bucks’ when it comes to affiliate marketing, you are going to need to invest cash in your business.
There are a lot of premium tools that will assist your online money making journey.
Not to mention paying for certain services will give you a bit more control over your business.
That being said, you can get started in the world of affiliate marketing for free.
You won’t need to pay a cent. You will need to put a lot of work in.
However, if you are willing to put in the work, you genuinely could make a decent sum of cash.
That is what this article is about. We want to teach you how to start affiliate marketing for free.
It isn’t that much different from normal affiliate marketing
Honestly. The processes for how to start affiliate marketing for free are not that different to other affiliate marketing techniques. Obviously, you are going to need to skip some things, but a lot of these have perfectly viable free alternatives. Some people actually crave the challenge that free affiliate marketing brings. After all, you are going to be missing out on things like:
- Web hosting
- Owning a domain name
- Paid traffic sources (i.e. advertising)
The core way of making money with affiliate offers won’t change, though. Whether you are doing it for free or using paid tools, it all boils down to sending traffic to affiliate offers.
The methods to accomplish this will change slightly. However, a lot of the advice out there about normal affiliate marketing is applicable when you ‘do it for free’.
It starts with an idea – choosing your niche
As with normal affiliate marketing, your free affiliate marketing journey will start with the selection of your niche.
Due to the freeways, you are going to be gaining traffic to your affiliate marketing offers, you will want to ensure that:
- The niche has a market
- You understand the niche and enjoy writing about it
Ideally, you will opt for one of the evergreen niches e.g. personal finance, weight loss, relationships, sports etc. These niches have proven markets and using the traffic generation techniques we will talk about soon, it should result in being able to get a few eyes on your offers.
Obviously, you will want to niche yourself down a little bit more on this. For example; if you are dealing with relationships, then you may want to talk about online dating, or something similar to that. Be specific with your niche. It is easier to cultivate a following and find potential traffic like this.
We think the most important thing is that you actually understand and love your niche. One of the methods we are going to be using to gain traffic to your offers requires in-depth knowledge of your niche. It will be quite transparent if you are lacking knowledge.
Having a passion for a niche will also make it a bit easier for you to produce your content. You will be surprised at how easy ideas will come to your head. It will reduce the need to do research and the like.
In our opinion, you shouldn’t really focus on search engines too much when it comes to the selection of your niche. Due to the way in which we are going to be carrying out our free affiliate marketing, you are probably not going to want to put a whole lot of time into search engine optimization. It is a waste of effort because you won’t own the site that you will be optimizing.
SEO will come a little bit later when you can transition towards having your own web hosting and domain name. Search engines will only come in useful when you are trying to establish how popular a particular niche is.
You need something to sell – choosing affiliate programs
We don’t talk about the exact sites where you can hunt for affiliate programs. The advice here would be the same as if you were building up a standard affiliate marketing business. We just want to give you a few hints and tips on ensuring that you choose the right products or services to promote.
Obviously, the affiliate offers that you promote will need to be relevant to your niche. You can’t build up a following for the relationship niche and start to force personal finance offers down their throats. The conversions will be awful. You will probably lose any credibility.
Ideally, you will be a member of several different affiliate programs, so you should have a wealth of different offers that you can promote to people. If you are acting as an affiliate for just one or two products, then you aren’t going to get far. Make a list of potential programs to promote.
It is worth noting the exact requirements of promoting certain products and services. For example; if you are promoting CPA offers (more on those in a second), there will be huge restrictions on where you can promote them.
For example; you may not be able to promote these offers on social media. You will need to direct the person away from social media onto your own personal website. The same as if you are part of Amazon Associates. You can’t promote offers on social media. You will also want to ensure that you have full control over the pages where you do promote the products.
When you are doing affiliate marketing for free (or even on a budget), we recommend you aim for the following types of affiliate commissions:
- If you are promoting physical products, they should be higher value physical products. This is because our methods of traffic generation will be a lot less consistent, and higher commissions mean that you will be putting in less work. Isn’t it better to earn $30 on a product than $2? The lower commissions work well with other affiliate marketing methods when you do a bit of SEO and can rank highly in the searches.
- Cost per Action (CPA) should, again, have higher commissions. Maybe $0.50 to $1 per action? Ideally, you would have higher than that, but most programs will limit promotion opportunities if it is.
- Recurring commissions: these are a fantastic way to make a bit of cash. It will also keep the income steady. Casinos and dating sites are great for recurring commissions. As long as a person stays on a site, and is paying into a site, you will gain recurring cash.
Once you have selected your affiliate programs and confirmed that there is money to be made in the niche that you have selected, you can move onto building your website.
Starting the real work – building your website
This is where things become a little bit trickier. You need a website. However, you don’t have any money for hosting or a domain name. This means that you are going to be putting the fate of your business in the hands of another company. Not ideal.
At this point, you may want to consider whether you can actually spare a few extra dollars per month to have your own domain name and web hosting plan. If you can’t, then continue to read this section.
In our opinion, you should be building a website using one of three services:
These are all ‘stable’ services which are going to be around for a while to come. They are easy to use and, perhaps most importantly, they can be ranked in the search engines. We know that we said that SEO shouldn’t be your main priority when you are learning how to start affiliate marketing for free, but the ranking will likely take place naturally.
You won’t ever be ranking for the most competitive keywords if you are not doing SEO properly, but you may be able to get ranked for a few long-tail keywords which should give you a little bit of ‘bonus’ traffic.
Preparing for traffic – Creating your traffic generating accounts
A lot of the promotion we are going to be talking about will be conducted via social media, with short stints at Q&A websites. We recommend that you have accounts at the following:
You will also want to carry out a quick Google search to see if there are any communities in your niche that you can get involved in. We can’t stress enough just how important it is that you are actively involved in these communities. If you aren’t, they probably won’t take kindly to you sharing your affiliate offers with them.
Writing your first words – filling your site with content
This is something that you are going to be doing a lot. In fact, if you want to be successful with free affiliate marketing, then your life is pretty much going to revolve around the constant generation of content for your website.
Hopefully, you have a few ideas buzzing around your head. Yes. There are methods to make money from affiliate marketing without producing a single word of content, but these methods are not as sustainable. We find that if you want to make money in the world of affiliate marketing, then you need to be trustworthy. You can gain trust by demonstrating that you understand what you are talking about.
Since we are not doing much in the way of search engine optimization for these traffic generation methods, we don’t need much in the way of informational posts. They will come in handy, but a lot of our focus will be on reviewing products. There will be supplementary informational posts, but nearly all of your work will be put into those reviews. Then you can mix in a couple of ‘top lists’. So, for example, if you were promoting automotive tools, you may have posts like this:
- Review of Britool socket set
- Top 5 socket sets
- How to choose a socket set
Yes. These topic ideas are rather basic but will provide you with a good starting point.
The only time you really want to focus on informational posts is when you are doing CPA offers. For example; if you are talking about insurance (an evergreen niche) and get your hands on a decent CPA offer for that, then you can write purely information posts with a little ‘call to action’ at the end.
Note: just because you are doing this on a budget doesn’t mean that you should ‘skimp’ on your content. Make it the best that it possibly can be. It really helps with gaining conversions.
Gaining attention – generating traffic
The final sections will be dedicated to how you can utilize each of the methods mentioned above for gaining traffic to your website. There will be a little bit of overlap between them. However, we will give you a few ideas for each method. These are 100% free methods.
This is where you will be spending a lot of your time. This is because there are two ways in which you will be sending eyes to your free web page.
The method that will probably be the most beneficial to you, in the long run, will be making your own Facebook group and gaining a following on that. When you have people who hang onto your every word, then you will be able to share your offers much more easily. Make sure that you share useful content that people will want to share with their friends and family.
The other method is to be active in the groups that are in your niche. When somebody posts a question, answer it. Every so often, you will want to include a link to your website. Casually promote your website. Don’t go over the top.
Let’s use our automotive tools example here. Let’s say somebody said:
“How can I choose a great socket set?”
You could answer something like one of these two, and include your link:
- I own the Britool socket set. Check out my review
- I wrote a guide on how to choose a socket set. You may want to look over it
Even if your post ends up being deleted by the group moderators, you should be able to get a few clicks. However, if you rarely promote yourself like this, most people won’t be fussed when you do it.
This is a slightly more difficult way of gaining traffic, and it only works in some niches. It is going to be a rather convoluted method, so we won’t be able to discuss everything here. However, in certain niches, it can generate virtually instant traffic.
You can think of Pinterest as being akin to an image search engine. You submit images with a link and share them. You can then create ‘groups’ where you pin these images you shared. People can follow this group. For example. if you were promoting automotive tools, you may want to share pictures of the socket sets with a link to the page for reviews.
As you can see in the picture you can insert your link into the picture on Pinterest and people can click on it.
This is an active promotional method, and it may not work for everybody. You may as well give it a go.
Instagram is another way to share images, however, it is a bit easier to understand than Pinterest. Again, it will probably only work in some niches.
Whenever you post an image, include a link to your website. You will also want to include ‘tags’ for your images that are relevant. For example, with our automotive tools, we may add #cars #carrepair etc. Basically, how people will find your images and ultimately follow you.
If you want to learn more Hashtags on Instagram you can check out this article: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/instagram-hashtags/
Twitter traffic generation methods are much the same as Instagram. it will be done via hashtags. It will also be text-based. Not everything you share via Twitter should be promotional. Share fun things. Share information about your niche (news etc.) and take part in discussions. The more you engage with the Twitter community, the more followers you will get, and the more money you will make.
When it comes to how to start affiliate marketing for free, Quora is a fantastic way to generate traffic…if you do it properly.
As you may well know. Quora is all about questions and answers. Whenever somebody asks a question relevant to your niche and the content you post on your website, swoop in and give them an answer. Include a handy link to your website as supporting evidence.
If you want to make the most of Quora, then you will want to limit the number of questions you answer. Give more detailed responses. A few paragraphs. This will increase the chance of you being the top-rated answer. This will lead to more traffic on your website.
Reddit is a bit weird because it is not something that will work for all niches. One thing is for sure if you use Reddit to generate traffic to your website and offers, you will want to engage in the community. If every post is promotional, your posts will eventually be hidden. It is tough to recover from that too.
Reddit probably shouldn’t be your main way to generate traffic. It should be somewhat of a ‘side venture’. It works, but other methods are going to be a bit better for you.
You can check out Complete List of Free Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing by David from BFDReview.com
You really did it for free – the conclusion
Yes. There is a lot of work that goes into how to start affiliate marketing for free. We have included a lot of information on this page, but that is just one possible method that you can use. We have demonstrated that everything can be done for free. These methods can be scaled up too.
You can even apply them to most niches. However, once the money starts to roll in, you may want to invest in other methods i.e. owning your own website, search engine optimization, etc. in order to see a bigger traffic boost.
If you follow the information on this page, then we will assure you that eventually, you will make a bit of cash…and you would have spent nothing more than your time. Hope this article will help you reach your goals as soon as possible.
David Harris is a founder of BfdReview.com. He has been doing affiliate marketing since he was 17 years old.