How To Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money (Step By Step Guide)

affiliate marketing with no moneySometimes starting your own business can be a headache right from the first hurdle as most businesses require some sort of start-up cash. Whether you are looking at venturing into the world of network marketing or wanting to buy into a franchise, you are going to need cash and in the case of a franchise lots of it.

But, what if I said, you can start affiliate marketing with no money and have your business up and running just a couple of hours after reading this article. Well, if you don’t believe me read on and I will show you how, step by step.

What is Affiliate Marketing

Okay, before I get into the how, let’s just explain exactly what is affiliate marketing and how you can create a great business from using it.

Affiliate Marketing is a process where you (the affiliate) will promote someone else s product or service. The company within your affiliate agreement allows you to promote their products and services and will upon an agreed action (normally a sale) pay you a set percentage of the price.

affiliate commissions dashboardEG You promote a product valued at $150 when a customer buys this product the company pays you 50%. So you receive $75. Cha-Ching!

As you can see it doesn’t take many sales before you have a great business. Similar to any other business just starting out any money you make can then be reinvested back into the business which will, in turn, accelerate its growth.

Now you understand the basics of how your business will make money let me show you how you can begin even with no cash to your name.

Choose Your Niche

The first thing you will need to do is decide on what products or services you wish to sell. This will determine the niche that you have to consider. There are of course 1000 s of different niches and the vast majority of them will have companies that run affiliate programs.

Here are what I call the super niches within the online world.

  • Lifestyle
  • Health & Fitness
  • Personal Development
  • How to Make Money
  • Personal Finance
  • Beauty & Fashion
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Parenting

So, if you can see that your niche fits within one or more of these super niches then you are on the right track. Another name from this type of niche is a sub-niche and these are what you want to be looking for. Big enough to have people searching for solutions but small enough that the competition is lower.

This is vital as a new business just starting out.

Build A Free Website

Next, is to build your home on the internet, your website/blog. I often get asked can I make money online without a website. You can but I would read my article affiliate marketing with no website . This goes into the subject more deeply and shows you why you definitely need one.

Okay with that question sorted let’s show you where and how you go and build your very own professional website for free.

Although, there a few places where you can build your own website for free I personally would always choose WordPress. Primarily built as a blogging platform it has evolved over the years into the most versatile system on the internet.

wordpress home page


This is one of the things I would recommend that you invest some money on whenever you can. Like I have said WordPress does offer a free version to build your website but you don’t own it or have full control over so I would buy your own domain name and hosting that way you are not limiting the growth of your business and are in full control.

I will share with you later in the post the best way to do this so, keep reading 🙂

Start Creating Content

Once your site is up and you have created a couple of necessary pages such as Privacy Policy, T’s & C’s and Contact. Now is the time to start generating some content. The best form of content I think is some blog posts. These are easy to produce and if done correctly can produce an endless stream of free traffic.

If you are needing some guidance read this article on the best way to create your first blog post.

Product Reviews

Although blog articles work well depending on the niche product reviews are a great way to

get you noticed too. These can prove very lucrative too as people search for reviews with a view to purchasing.

Other forms of content could be:-

  • Infographics
  • Slide Presentations
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Guest Blogging

The secret is not always quantity but the quality is a must. Remember this as you become creative.

Sign Up To Affiliate Programs

Affiliate Networks are a great place to start your search as these house many programs under one roof making the process very simple and easy. Once you have found a product that you would like to promote simple sign up and away you go.

Amazon is probably the largest affiliate network as it has 1000 s of products that can be promoted.

If you want digital products then places like JV Zoo and Clickbank are two of the most well-known. JV Zoo can take a while to receive to go ahead as the owners myself will give you the green light. Whereas, Clickbank is much easier with no agreement needed by the product owner.

Overvault is another good network and offers lists of affiliate programs, networks and even CPA offers which I will get into on another post.

offervault affiliate networks

Do some research here to find the best network for your niche.

Get Some Traffic

Some people struggle with this but truth is traffic is everywhere you just have to go and look for it.

Now, of course, paid traffic is off limits in this article (or at least until you have made some cash that is) So, I am going a show you a couple of great ways to get traffic for free.

Organic Traffic (SERPS)

This will be traffic from content that you have managed to get ranked highly in the search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. These are more likely to be articles or product reviews.

You will need to learn about the best practices of Search Engine Optimization but once mastered can get you loads of free traffic.

I have been using these practices to great effect and have articles ranking high on all three search engines. This one was currently no2 in Google.

high rankings for product review in google search

Social Media

Social networks are another free way to generate traffic to your affiliate offers. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram are all amazing places to find customers.

Tip:- Do some research to discover where your customers are hanging out that way you can concentrate on this network more. If you are using Facebook then be sure that you don’t break the Facebook affiliate rules. I also find Twitter is a great source of traffic for me.

twitter for affiliate marketing

Rinse & Repeat

It sounds simple, and it really is. Just keep creating more content, getting more traffic and your business will grow and grow.

Tools & Training

Before you head off to start working on your affiliate business there are a couple of other vital components to a successful business. These are tools and training.

Let’s take tools first.

Affiliate marketing tools are a great way to assist you in your business whether it be video or image creation, keyword research, link building, and even email marketing. Many tools have been free to use or have a free option that will get you started. So don’t try to do everything yourself many tools make lite work.

Finally, and probably the most important part of any business is keeping up with industry changes and learning more efficient ways to develop your business. Mentorship is amazing but as I am discussing in the article free is our first option and mentorship, unfortunately, doesn’t fall into this price bracket.

A site I use for mentorship, training, support, and guidance is Wealthy Affiliate. If you are just starting out this is an amazing site to join. And the best thing is you can become a starter member within the budget of this post… FREE.

Although in time as with other suggestions I would recommend upgrading to a year membership when you start generating cash. But that said here’s what to can get on the free starter membership.

There is no pressure to upgrade or any need to enter your credit card. Just the best supportive community for starting an online business.

Wrapping Up

As you can see you definitely can start affiliate marketing without any money. These simple steps will get you up and running today if needed. Of course, just like any business, you will need to put in some hard graft and plenty of time.

The rewards are brilliant though and well worth putting in the hours.

Remember also some small investments are needed to speed up your journey. These can be done at the beginning or as you start to generate income, this choice is yours.

In my opinion, Wealthy Affiliate is the way to go, with training, websites, and support available on the starter membership then ongoing support, training, mentorship and more when you upgrade.

Go for it…

start your own affiliate business

10 thoughts on “How To Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money (Step By Step Guide)”

  1. Hi there,  I have a question – how difficult (or easy) is it to be approved by affiliate marketing programs such as Amazon? Are they looking for experience or an already established website, or can I just get started without any background in marketing? And how does that work for other affiliate marketing programs? I heard that JVZoo is quite hard to get approved for. Is that true?  Thanks for the info!



    • Hi Claudia, As regards to Amazon it is easy to join their associate’s program, but I would wait until you have steady traffic to your website as you need to meet certain goals to maintain your affiliate status. JV Zoo is harder to get approved until you get above 25 sales then most vendors will accept you. 

  2. It sounds too good to be true. How long does it take to actually make money. I am still trying to figure out how to make my wordpress website look half way decent. 

    I know content is king but I would like to have a somewhat normal looking and functioning website. 

    Did you make your own site? or did you have someone make it for you? 

    • Making money does take time and will depend on your niche too. Some niches are easier than others. Creating content is definitely the way to go but of course, quality is always going to be better than quantity. I create all my own sites plus design for others too. Although you don’t need a great looking site to make money. 

  3. This is a very comprehensive article on how people can start affiliate marketing without money. I think the hardest part of affiliate marketing at least for me personally was figuring out what niche I wanted to be in exactly.

    Once that was completed using wordpress I was able to quickly build a website and start creating content for the website…

    I guess the biggest problem after starting that I have and was wondering if you have tips on is: how do I overcome the idea that my writing sounds boring?

    As far as traffic I haven’t gotten that far yet as my goal is to create a good amount of content before worrying about for example social media… Otherwise focusing on to many things at once will really make it tough.

    Whether people spend money or not, affiliate marketing is still one of the best ways people can make money online without losing a bunch!

    • Hey Josh, I think with choosing a niche you and loads of others do have problems but glad you are up and running now. 

      As regards writing, I try to write as if I was speaking to a friend in the pub. So that maybe something to try out. Also, you have to remember things may sound boring to you that’s because you already know about the subject you are writing about but your readings don’t and so are looking just for this information. 

      With social media, I would definitely set up your accounts as you can link back to your website in many places. But, I do understand the time involved with being active. Maybe choose one and start slowly. 

  4. Your step-by-step guide is easy to follow and thoroughly explains the basics of affiliate marketing. The part on affiliate programs is very helpful to understanding what affiliate programs are out there. 

    Wealthy Affiliate has given me the tools to be earn money online through their online training, community support, and the many webinars I can go look up to find the answers to building my own website and running my own business online.

    Just like with everything else in life it takes hard work and commitment. The mentoring you receive to ensure every milestone you are challenged with is overcome is better than any on the job training I have ever received.

    I found your section on Organic Traffic (SERPS) very informative since that is the core importance of having a good website. Good content is the top priority of having a high ranking website. My important mantra to remember. Thank you for article.


  5. someone recently recommended affiliate marketing to me and I’m just starting and so far its been amazing plus lots of knowledge to grasp from this post, thanks alot…

    • Apologies for the late reply. Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to make money. I wish you continued success 🙂


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