It should be no surprise that success in affiliate marketing is a lot easier if you have some money at your disposal. However what if you have very little or even zero money to invest?
If you have the dedication and are willing to put in the work, affiliate marketing is actually one of the best ways to make money if you have no capital available to you. The industry basically has no barrier to entry, so even if all you have is a computer and an internet connection, you too can one day become a success.
So if you’re just getting started in affiliate marketing and have no budget, here are my thoughts on the best place to get started.
You Need To Raise Some Funds
If you want to be successful in affiliate marketing, you are going to have to raise some funds. If this sounds counter-intuitive to the title of this article, well it kind of is and kind of isn’t. I’m not saying you need to go out and get some job outside of internet/affiliate marketing, but you will need to earn the bare minimum to get started.
For example even if you have the cheapest of setups which would be just a domain and some web hosting for a blog you plan to monetize, even such a setup has some basic costs.
Furthermore if you’re new to the game, it is likely that it will take at least a year really until you can create a website or something else online that can support you. So unless you have a years worth of savings in the bank, you’re probably going to need something to pay the bills while you work on your affiliate marketing projects.
So to start making your first dollars online, I recommend that you start a service of some sort. I wrote an article earlier on how to make money online for beginners that you can check out. Writing articles or selling some sort of service like graphic design, logo design, video editing etc. is a good place to start your online career while you develop and grow your website.
Even if you don’t know how to do any of these things, just pick something and go to YouTube and watch some tutorials. You’d be amazed at how quickly you can learn something like video editing or Photoshop with some free tutorials and a little bit of practice.
Start A Blog And Stick To It
After you figure out what you’re going to do to earn some money on the side, the next thing to do is start your own blog. A blog is probably the cheapest way to make money as an affiliate marketer. If you write all your own content, it basically costs just the price of the domain ($12-15/year) and some web hosting ($6-10/month). If you’ve never owned a website before, I wrote an article about how to start a blog you may find helpful.
What’s interesting about blogs is that they are such a lucrative way to make money online, but most people fail because they aren’t disciplined enough. Realistically if you were to write 1-2 articles a day, by the end of the year you’d probably have something earning enough money to support yourself or at least provide you with a decent income every month. However how many people can actually do this? Sadly very few.
So the challenge is being consistent with your blog, and if you can do this, you can slap on some monetization method and earn money from all the traffic your blog gets. The idea is actually very simple, however very few have the discipline to execute it (trust me I’m guilty of this as well).
If you’re not sure what to write about for your new blog, I wrote an article here on how to pick the right niche that will get you started in the right direction.
Leverage Social Media
So now that you’ve decided to get your blog up and running, you’re going to need a way to get the word out and drive visitors to your website, and for this social media is going to be the vehicle to do it.
While SEO is a great way to drive visitors, for someone that is on a budget, it’s probably not going to be the best way to go. These days private blog networks and paid links are all the rage, and using them can cost quite a bit of money that you don’t have.
Furthermore something like PPC advertising again is out of reach for someone with little to no capital, so obviously you won’t be using this method either.
In contrast, social media is free, the catch of course is that you’re going to have to put in a lot of work. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are all places you can potentially reach millions of people for free, however to do so you’re going to have to post on them frequently and also create some great content.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to social media, I wrote an article on how to get started with social media that you may find helpful when first starting out.
Explore Other Methods Down The Road
While creating and promoting your blog via social media is a great way to make money as an affiliate marketer on a budget, eventually when you do build up a little of cash you should consider exploring other ways to make money online as an affiliate.
A great place to learn online for free is Black Hat World which in my opinion is a great place for beginner and intermediate affiliates to learn the ropes of internet marketing.
Even while working to establish your blog, you may find that other methods of making money as an affiliate may interest you more. Things like creating “rank and bank” websites, email marketing, or even website flipping may interest you more.
The key to making money online really is consistency, so if you can find something that interests you, you’ll likely to stick to it and make money. For me that was SEO, for you it may be something else.
Anyway so the above is the recommended path I think for affiliate marketers that want to get started but have little to no capital available to them. Hopefully you found this article helpful, and if you have any questions feel free to leave some comments below!