Every single day, droves of people get on the internet hoping to make money online. Very often, they have a plethora of reasons for wanting to do so – ranging from wanting to quit their day job to having more money for the finer things in life.
One common thread that binds most of them is that they’re often on a tight budget… and is also probably the reason why they want to get into affiliate marketing to boost their income.
However, they’re often told that they’ll need to purchase their own domain, pay for hosting, fork out more cash for autoresponder fees and so on. It’s almost as if they need money to make money.
While motivational gurus may spout motherhood statements such as, “It’s not about your resources, but your resourcefulness…”, the truth of the matter is that you can’t multiply by zero.
You’ll need money to pay for different fixed and recurring costs in your business. That’s a given.
If that means getting a second job to earn extra to pay for your business, you may have to do it – and that is resourcefulness, but ultimately you still need cold, hard cash.
However, if you’re financially strapped and can’t possibly get a second job because your first one is almost working you into an early grave, there are a couple of ways you can make affiliate marketing work, for free.
- You need a free website
There are several platforms that will allow you to have a free website. The catch here is that you’ll have no control over the advertising that appears on your site. Another risk is that you’ll need to conform to the rules of the platform however inane they may seem.
If they feel like you’ve flouted their rules, they could boot you out unceremoniously without giving you any notice. Countless beginner marketers have lost their businesses overnight by ‘building their houses on rented land’.
So, your goal is to build a free website and once you’re generating sales, you should immediately buy your own domain and hosting so that you’re in control of your business.
Here are 2 free platforms you can use:
WordPress.com – https://wordpress.com/
*Medium – https://medium.com/
*While Medium doesn’t allow you to build your own site, it allows you to post articles on their platform. That’s really all you need for now.
The site gets a lot of traffic and has potential when it comes to ranking for low hanging keywords that you may wish to target. From there, it’s just a matter of publishing more targeted articles and getting affiliate sales.
- Getting your affiliate links
It should be free to join most affiliate programs on places like ClickBank, Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, Rakuten Marketing and so on. Go ahead and sign up and get your links.
Forget programs that require you to ‘pay to play’ – where you need to have a monthly paid subscription to the software/service/etc. before they bestow upon you the dubious honor of being able to promote their products.
There are tons of excellent affiliate products that you can promote for free without having to jump through hoops.
- Free traffic
Since money is tight, paid ads are definitely not an option here. The next best way to generate traffic to your pages will be to siphon it from high traffic social media sites and platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google.
It’s important to know that free traffic takes time. You’ll not generate massive traffic overnight. You’ll need to create content consistently and almost daily to get reach and traction.
If your content is valuable and top-notch, you’ll build a following and have people clicking on your affiliate links or article links. So, go ahead and create accounts in the different social media platforms and…
- Start making videos with your mobile phone and post them on YouTube
- Set up a Facebook group and a fan page and start posting content
- Write articles on your niche and post them on Medium
- Start tweeting your articles/videos/etc.
- Use Canva.com to come up with attractive creatives you can use. (It’s free!)
Once again, it’s important to remember that social media sites are not your web properties, so you’re never totally safe with them. The goal is to always generate sales until you have enough money to build your own website and list. These are YOUR assets.
- Putting it all together
One way to start will be to write and start posting useful articles on Medium (you’ll embed your affiliate links in the posts). Just remember to disclose affiliate links and DO NOT overdo it. Moderation is key here.
As long as your content is good, you’ll have curious readers clicking on your links and reaching the sales page of the product you’re promoting… which is your main objective.
Point your YouTube videos, Facebook posts, tweets, etc. to your Medium article so that you can pre-sell the reader by providing more information and value. Once you build trust with your audience, your chances of getting the sale will be much higher.
Your Medium account with all your content will act as a hub-site for your affiliate marketing business. The free traffic methods you employ will siphon traffic from different platforms and point them all to your hub site’s content… just like how all roads lead to Rome.
Then it’s just a matter of time for the traffic to convert into sales (if your content is valuable and persuasive).
- What next?
Keep on keeping on until you start seeing sales trickle in. Give yourself 6 to 12 months to see your efforts yield fruit. This is a slow process, but a rewarding one.
Once you see the commissions coming in, do invest in your business by getting your own domain, hosting and an autoresponder. Being able to build your own mailing list will help to elevate your marketing to the next level and skyrocket your commissions.
This is the best way to bootstrap your way from scratch to affiliate marketing success.
“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson