In affiliate marketing, a sale is made by an online customer who clicks on an advertiser’s ad. The sale is tracked using a unique affiliate code that the advertiser puts on their website, in the form of a special link. When someone clicks on this special link and completes a purchase, the commission for that sale is given to whoever owns that link. This means, if you have a website with good traffic and content that people like, you can make money by posting links to products or services for sale.
In this guide, we review the aspects of Affiliate Marketing With 0 Investment, best affiliate programs for beginners without a website, how to start affiliate marketing without website, and how much investment required for affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing With 0 Investment
Affiliate Marketing is an easy way to make money online. It’s not hard to learn and the skills you need can be picked up in just a few hours. The fact that Affiliate Marketing is so easy means that it’s also competitive and getting noticed is difficult unless you invest heavily in marketing and ad spend or stock and storage which could prove expensive for starting out – however, if you want to make money without investing heavily this might be for you!
Affiliate Marketing is something that can be done from very low investments to high.
Affiliate marketing is a way of making money by promoting the products of others. For example, if you are an affiliate marketer and decide to promote a particular product on your site, when someone buys it through your link, you get paid a commission for introducing them to that product. In this way, affiliate marketing is similar to referral marketing in which one person refers another person or company to another company’s products or services.
Another difference between these two types of online marketing is that affiliate marketers often focus more on content generation than referral marketers do because they need quality content for their websites so people will come back again and again rather than just clicking through once or twice before buying from someone else instead.
Affiliate marketing can be done from very low investments (sometimes even free) all the way up through high-end paid advertising campaigns with huge amounts being spent on stock storage/shipping costs etc..
It all depends on what you want to do with it.
Now you might be thinking, “So then how do I make money with affiliate marketing?” That’s a great question.
It all depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to start getting money coming in without investing heavily in marketing and ad spend or stock and storage, then this is the guide for you!
Affiliate Marketing allows you to make money from your site or social media accounts.
- Affiliate Marketing allows you to make money from your site or social media accounts.
- You can use these sites to promote products of others, and when people buy those products, you’ll get a cut of the sale (typically in the range of 4-20%).
- This is often referred to as “getting a commission”.
It is a way of making money in a passive way by promoting the products of others.
You don’t have to be a salesperson. You don’t have to worry about inventory, shipping, customer service or refunds. You’re just promoting the products of others.
How much can you earn with Affiliate Marketing?
You can earn money from affiliate marketing without having a website. You don’t need to invest money in order to start making money online with affiliate marketing, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular among newbies who want to make money online.
You can start your affiliate marketing business with $0 investment, but if you want to take your business to the next level and increase your earnings, then you will have to spend some money on tools like domain name and hosting service.
There are some Affiliate Marketers that make well over $100,000 a month!
It’s not something you can do overnight if you’re serious about making money from it. You need to be willing to put in the time and effort, and commit yourself to making this a success.
If you want to become an expert Affiliate Marketer, then we recommend taking our course on how to make money with affiliate marketing without investing any money at all!
You can start to get money coming in without investing heavily in marketing and ad spend or stock and storage.
- Without a lot of money, you can make money
- Without having to store and sell products, you can make money
- Without having to advertise, you can make money
best affiliate programs for beginners without a website
You could promote thousands of different programs through affiliate marketing, all of them making the same promises of hefty commission payments.
But how can you even pretend to know which offers are worth your time and effort?
It takes years of making horribly expensive mistakes to figure that stuff out.
You’ll be glad to hear that I’ve already made all of those mistakes (and then some more). And now I am happy to share what I’ve learned with the world.
I’ve taken the lessons learned to share my favorite affiliate offers with you, saving you months of work and giving you a competitive advantage over people who don’t follow me.
So here’s my list of the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners.
The Best Affiliate Marketing Programs For Beginners
Here are our favorite beginner affiliate programs. Keep scrolling for a detailed review of each.
FanFuel is the affiliate arm of Wolfson Brands, a company that specializes in products for the health and fitness market.
What sets them apart from their competitors is that their products are used and endorsed by professional athletes as well as health and fitness-focused social influencers.
But their product line also includes nootropics to enhance human performance, hair loss treatments, and cosmeceuticals.
So you have a range of products that can appeal to multiple audiences across several niches. Which is great for anyone starting out in affiliate marketing. In our opinion, this is one of the best affiliate marketing programs to start with.
The additional benefit for affiliates is that you can earn more from their offers because there’s no affiliate network in the middle to eat into your commissions. That’s what I personally like the best.
Affiliates promoting their offers will earn 40% commission on each sale, more than many of the other affiliate programs in this roundup.
They offer a generous commission rate, a broad range of products to promote and truly understand the affiliate marketing landscape.
2. ShareASale Affiliate Program
ShareASale is a network that’s been in business for over two decades now and is home to almost 4,000 different merchants.
It was acquired by Awin in 2017 but still operates today under the ShareASale brand.
And while it might not have the most attractive or interactive interface, they set themselves apart from other affiliate networks in the breadth of their offers.
It’s a great affiliate network to check out if you’re looking for a mix of mainstream offers such as CBD oil and mattresses.
But you’ll also find a range of other programs on offer that are a bit more off-the-beaten-track such as business incorporation, seeds, or teeth alignment services, for example.
These are all the sub-niches that you might overlook because you’re too busy trying to be next WireCutter or whatever.
A good reason for new affiliates to sign up with ShareASale is that this affiliate network welcomes newbies and won’t kick you off the network if you don’t make any sales within the first 180 days.
Unlike most affiliate networks, including the bigger ones…
They’re an affiliate-friendly network with products and services to suit almost any niche you can think of.
3. FlexOffers Affiliate Program
FlexOffers is one of those affiliate networks that fly under the radar of most new affiliate marketers.
There are two reasons for this.
The first is that they’re simply less well-known than the bigger players in the market like CJ and Amazon.
And that’s a shame because – in our experience – they have a really friendly affiliate management team who want you to succeed.
The second is that their business model means you’ll receive a lower commission rate for a given affiliate program from their portfolio of merchants.
That’s because FlexOffers take their own cut from your referral.
Which effectively means you’re a sub-affiliate for this particular affiliate marketing service provider. So, it’s not exactly one of the highest-paying affiliate programs, but it’s still good.
The beauty of their approach is that new affiliates can sign up for, promote and profit from programs that they’d otherwise be declined for, including a range of credit card offers.
Another neat way to leverage FlexOffers is to find out if a company has an affiliate program that they don’t advertise on their homepage but do offer via this network.
Something else worth knowing about FlexOffers is that they offer Net 7 payments for top performers, which in plain English means, “You can get paid weekly.”
This is one of the best payout deals you’ll get from any of the mainstream affiliate networks.
They provide newcomers to affiliate marketing with access to thousands of affiliate programs without the hassle of dealing with multiple affiliate networks.
4. Market Health Affiliate Program
Market Health operates a hybrid affiliate marketing model – they’re an affiliate network, but they also manufacture and distribute their own range of healthcare and beauty products.
That presents affiliates with the opportunity to promote different products to different niches without joining multiple affiliate programs.
Their products span men’s health, weight loss, teeth whitening all the way to pet health products.
And with new products coming online at a pretty regular pace, you’ll always have something interesting to pitch to your audience.
Another benefit is that you’re dealing with a savvy affiliate marketing team with over two decades of experience in the industry.
So they’re interested in helping you make as much cash as possible because that means you’re generating a lot of revenue for the business.
This program is a personal favorite of mine and ranks as one of the best affiliate marketing programs in this roundup and the health/wellness niche in general.
You get a wide range of products to pitch, excellent commission rates, and a tenured company with a proven track record in affiliate marketing.
5. CJ Affiliate Network
They represent thousands of advertisers across dozens of different verticals, so beginners should be able to find at least a handful of programs to promote.
A perk for new affiliate marketers is that you’ll get to work with a dedicated affiliate manager in most cases.
These people can help take your affiliate marketing career to the next level with their insights and advice.
The interface is also intuitive, and you get lots of training materials via Commission Junction University.
And you also get paid on a Net 30 basis, so you won’t be left waiting months to bank those affiliate commissions you worked so hard to earn.
The only real snag with Commission Junction is that you need a live and active website if you want your application to be approved quickly.
As an affiliate marketer, you get to work with leading brand names, very competitive commission rates, and experienced affiliate managers as standard.
6. NordVPN Affiliate Program
Since then, they’ve grown to a VPN service that offers thousands of servers to its more than 14 million users worldwide. Therefore, some even consider it the best affiliate program at the moment.
VPNs is a competitive niche, but it’s also a niche experiencing 11% growth per year, and with growth comes opportunity.
But how is Nord different from any other VPN affiliate program you can find online?
You’ll find them promoted quite heavily by prominent social media influencers like Casey Neistat and Philip DeFranco.
Part of the reason is that NordVPN is regarded as one of the best services of its type out there.
But the other is that big influencers typically only promote products that convert well i.e. they make money from the promotion.
Their affiliate marketing program offers a 40% commission for all new accounts that sign-up through your affiliate link, but you can also earn 30% on renewals.
This is a no-brainer if you’re looking for one of the best affiliate programs in the personal and Internet security niche.
They’re an established brand in the Internet privacy and security market with a popular affiliate program and worthwhile commission rates.
7. ClickBank Affiliate Program
ClickBank is one of the oldest affiliate networks, starting out from a garage in 1998.
And though it’s not quite the powerhouse it once was, ClickBank can still be a ready source of income for affiliates today.
There are multiple ways to monetize a niche, including display ads and affiliate programs – they’re quick and easy to use.
Digital products on ClickBank tend to get overlooked because they take that little bit of extra effort to review and promote properly, as do their healthcare and beauty products.
But the payoff is in the commissions you can earn as a Clickbank affiliate. Even relatively inexperienced affiliate marketers can bank $100+ commissions for a single referral.
An added bonus is that many of these programs also offer some kind of recurring revenue model, so you sell once and get paid several times over, and all because of one visit to your affiliate site.
The trick for any ClickBank affiliate is picking the right offers to promote to the right audience.
They offer a diverse range of products suitable for markets as varied as health to spirituality and making money online with the added bonus of recurring commissions.
Note: If you’ve tried ClickBank and didn’t like it, you can try other affiliate networks like ClickBank instead.
8. Bluehost Affiliate Program
Since 2003, this company has established itself as a solid choice for affiliates and small businesses looking for affordable hosting and as a lucrative affiliate offer.
It’s one of the best affiliate programs in this roundup by earning potential, paying at least $65 per referral.
That’s why you’ll see Bluehost mentioned and recommended on so many marketing blogs i.e. it’s a lucrative offer, as are most web hosting affiliate programs.
And it’s also a good service for beginner bloggers, meaning people promoting this offer can make that recommendation without feeling like they’re doing anything wrong.
People need to find web hosting before they set up their website or blog…
So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t point aspiring bloggers and online entrepreneurs towards Bluehost because everyone benefits.
Driving a high volume of sales to Bluehost can result in nothing short of spectacular affiliate revenue.
Back when he was still publishing monthly income reports, Pat Flynn would show how he was routinely making $30k per month in referral fees.
That makes it one of the potentially highest-paying affiliate programs in this roundup.
They’re an established and trusted name in the world of web hosting and their affiliate program converts a high percentage of traffic into sales.
9. Awin Affiliate Program
Awin (Affiliate Window) is a network with an international reach, representing over 14,000 advertisers and has publishers in 180 countries.
It’s also one of those affiliate networks that gets overlooked in favor of more popular ones like CJ Affiliate by Conversant or ShareASale, for example.
And that’s a real shame because they have some really unique advertisers that you won’t find anywhere else.
These aren’t ultra-niche products or services either. They’re all mainstream but are also exclusive to Awin to the point that many of their advertisers don’t list their affiliate program anywhere on their website.
So you could potentially find some hidden gems in their ‘Affiliate Directory’.
The only downside to Awin is its interface is a little messy – it gets the job done, but it could be streamlined to improve UX.
There’s also the detail that they charge new affiliates a refundable $5 to sign up with them. While it makes sense to do this, it’s enough to put some affiliates off because the “fee” sounds scammy.
They’re an untapped mine of affiliate offers with enough diversity in their advertiser portfolio to meet the demand of dozens of niches, along with all the tools you need to promote a given offer.
10. Semrush Affiliate Program
Semrush is one of the most popular SEO, competitor research, and content marketing tools on the market.
It offers marketers a comprehensive suite of tools to do everything from keyword and backlink research to optimizing existing pages of content.
That’s why you’ll find so many SEOs promoting it in their blog posts and YouTube channels.
But there’s also the tiny detail that Semrush loves rewarding its affiliates with lots of cash.
You get $10 for every referral that signs up for a free trial and $200 for any referral that chooses a paid account.
They operate their affiliate program in the form of Berush, which is managed for them by Impact Radius.
This offer can generate a great affiliate income for an affiliate marketer with the right audience – their most successful affiliates claim to earn 6-figures ($100k+) per month.
It’s also one of the oldest affiliate programs in this roundup.
It’s one of the best SEO tools on the market and is one of the highest-paying affiliate programs online today.
how to start affiliate marketing without website
Affiliate marketing is a dream job for many. These days more than ever as you can peacefully work from anywhere in the world without risking contracting that one nasty C-word (calm down, I’m talking about the virus here).
The real question is – can many actually do affiliate marketing? Well, I won’t keep you waiting: yes, they can. The thing is:
Yeah, I decided to answer the big question in the introduction.
But keep reading! Because frankly, it may be better for you to actually invest in developing a simple website in the long run.
I’ll get back to it in a sec.
Affiliate Marketing Basics
Before we move on to discussing if you really need a website to become a successful affiliate, let’s talk about the things that you absolutely must have to start (and succeed). Don’t worry, though. It’s not much.
In a nutshell, your major goal as an affiliate is to deliver the right offer to the right customer at the right time. And that essentially comes down to two key elements: an offer and a traffic source.
Offer: What you promote
In order to make money, you need to have something to market (i.e. to advertise).
That’s why the very first thing you absolutely need is the right offer. Find them one by one on your own like in the old days. Or, you can work like a pro and join a bunch of ad exchanges and affiliate networks to make the search a little bit easier.
But at the very beginning of every affiliate’s success story, there was a good offer they selected. So choose wisely.
Traffic Source: Where you promote it
That offer of yours has to go somewhere. Be it Facebook, Google, or your girlfriend’s lifestyle blog. The better the match between the traffic source’s target audience and the contents of the offer you are promoting – the higher the chance that it will be a profitable deal.
That’s the basics of the basics.
Now, the tricky part is to sell your offer to the audience. And that’s where the landing page comes in.
Website aka Landing page for Affiliate Marketing
While having an entire website just for your affiliate deals may seem a little too much, setting up a landing page for each of the offers you promote is just as important as choosing the right traffic source.
It’s pretty simple, really. Landers increase conversions. Do you really need more intel than that? Probably. So here’s how it all works.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a one-page website, so technically – yes, you may need to know how to develop one. At the same time, landers are pretty easy to set up and you can use the same draft for as many pages as your heart desires. Just customize each one a little bit for a specific promo – and you’re all set!
Let’s be honest – affiliates don’t always have the best reputation with the community. Affiliate links may seem suspicious and the services they redirect to tend to be frowned upon. Landing pages however, – when friendly and sincere – can make the entire customer experience a little more transparent. And people love transparency these days.
Landers make your offers more informative
It’s true that brevity is the soul of wit. It’s a little less true, though, when you are trying to sell something. People need a clear understanding of what they are about to invest in. But it’s not always possible to fit all that in the limited amount of characters provided by the publisher.
Of course, it also means that you need to provide an effective copy and invest in the appropriate design for your lander. But in the end, it can almost guarantee you that long-hoped-for conversion.
With landing pages you seem more credible
Some of the largest affiliate programs (e.g. Airbnb) evaluate your worth as a potential partner affiliate based on your online presence. Here, actually owning a website (or a lander) may become a decisive factor.
Think of that as submitting your Facebook or LinkedIn profile while applying for a new job. Recruiters are driven by your online presence and, as an affiliate, it’s often reduced to a one-page website telling the story of your successes.
Moreover, there’s no better place to store all the positive feedback you received over the years. Social proof is a valuable currency these days – use it!
And it doesn’t have to be difficult! I even wrote a very detailed article with an overview of the best landing page building tools on the market – go ahead and check it out or try Zyro website builder if you’re looking for something off the beaten pass.
I’m sure you’ll find something to satisfy your affiliate needs!
Lander Vs Pre-Lander: Key differences
Let’s take a step back for a second and talk about pre-landers.
Shorter and more straightforward than your typical landing pages, pre-landers appear right before the offer and serve one purpose only – provide potential customers with the general idea of what the offer is going to be about.
Pre-landers pop up right before a user is about to be redirected to your offer and tell them a story about the product, about the offer, or about you. They are a great way to generate engagement and increase conversions. At the same time, landers are much more suitable for lead generation.
However, for either of those elements to bring you any use at all, you need to make sure everything works smoothly. One way to simplify things is by investing in a proper ad tracker.
What’s an ad tracker and how can it help?
Ad trackers, like Voluum, help digital marketers and affiliates to gather data on their potential customers online.
Do you want to know where most of the people interacting with your ad are coming from? It could help you adjust your message to match the cultural and social values of the target group.
Curious about what operating systems your TA is using? Perhaps, you should spend more time optimizing your ad’s mobile responsiveness.
Always wanted to see which keywords brought people to your ad in the first place? A/B test different ad copies and see what kind of audience responds to different messages.
Imagine all the great marketing you could do knowing exactly who you’re marketing it to!
And ad trackers are the tools that let you do just that.
In a way, investing in a good ad tracker is exactly what sets super-affiliates from beginners. So why not do things the right way from the start?
how much investment required for affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing has a definite allure. It’s a lucrative business that continues to generate income even when you’re off the clock.
But it’s not the get-rich-quick strategy most dreamers think it is. There’s more to starting an affiliate marketing business than you may have previously thought.
But don’t worry. We’re here to teach you how to set up a promising affiliate marketing business and give you every chance to reach the success you desire.
Why Starting an Affiliate Marketing Business Is Worth It
Be Your Own Boss
We know it’s a little cliche at this point. But most people genuinely want the opportunity to be their own boss. A study of entrepreneur wellbeing across 82 countries showed that self-employment and providing employment to others have a positive influence on well-being and happiness.
And affiliate marketing is something you can do from anywhere in the world. You could be catching a train to Rome or spending time with the kids at the park while those dollars are rolling in. It’s an appealing lifestyle just for being location independent.
A Wealth of Opportunities
Over 80% of advertisers use affiliate marketing programs. The industry is huge. For you, as an affiliate marketer, this means there are tons of brands to work with and tons of opportunities to make money.
There are now affiliate programs in all sorts of niches too, from photography to online dating to tech. To give you an example, here’s a section of the categories available on an affiliate marketing network:
So no matter what your thing is, you have the opportunity to monetize your content. Or, if you’re coming at it from a purely business-focused standpoint, you can find a less saturated niche and dominate it.
The earning potential for affiliate marketing is good. Some affiliates earn the big bucks. Adam Enfroy earned over $600,000 in affiliate revenue in 2020, for instance.
Bear in mind that affiliate marketing takes time and hard work, though. It’s not strictly a passive income. You have to draw traffic and build an audience that trusts your recommendations if you want to earn a solid income.
The Investment Needed to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business
Many people think they can simply share a link on Twitter and watch the dollars roll in. That’s not necessarily the case. According to PayScale, the average salary for an affiliate marketer is $53,167.
Digital marketer and affiliate Andrew Collins says, “Affiliate marketing isn’t about overnight success, to be honest. It might take a day, some months, or maybe years.” He explains that many might not earn a dime for six months, but go on to earn a ton as time passes and you build experience.
Affiliate marketing is certainly less of a time investment, however, than say creating a SaaS or DTC business. Essentially, you’re just in charge of marketing the product(s) and don’t have to worry about aspects such as customer support, development, and so on.
The other good thing about affiliate marketing is that compared to other types of business, there are few expenses needed to get started. Experts estimate you’ll need just a few hundred dollars to cover costs such as web hosting. But it doesn’t cost anything to sign up for an affiliate program.
Perhaps the most complex, time-consuming step is forming your business legally. But that’s not exclusive to affiliate marketing. Every business has to do this. Thankfully, there are services like ZenBusiness that take the time and hassle out of the equation. ZenBusiness’s packages start at $49 plus state fees, which range from $50 to $520 depending on the state in which you form your business.
6 Steps to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business
Now, let’s get onto the good stuff.
Here we’ll cover everything you need to know about starting an affiliate marketing business from researching your audience, to setting up a legit business, to growing a following that’ll earn you affiliate commissions.
#1 – Create a Business Plan
If you’re serious about starting your own business, you need to create some form of a plan, be it formal or informal. A good business plan lays out what you want to achieve, by when, and how you’re going to do it.
Those are the essential points. And you’re more likely to achieve your goals with the process laid out in front of you.
It’s also vital you carry out lots of research in the planning stage. When you select your niche, you’ll need to learn as much as possible about your audience. What are their pain points? How can you help them? And, ultimately, how can you sell something to them that they want to buy?
With this information, you can position yourself as an expert in your niche and create the content that most appeals to your audience.
#2 – Select a Niche
When it comes to selecting a niche for your affiliate marketing company, it’s better to make it narrow. Affiliate marketing expert Pat Flynn says that all you need is 1,000 true fans within your niche that’ll buy what you’re selling. You’re more likely to profit from this approach than trying and failing to reach high numbers with a broad topic that’s already saturated.
Think of a narrow niche as a topic within a topic. So rather than creating a blog about business, you create a blog about running an eBay business, as in this example from Kathy Terrill:
Remember though that you still need to pick a niche that can be lucrative for you. It can’t be so small that there isn’t an audience for it.
You can find a niche that’s on the up in terms of public interest using a tool such as Exploding Topics. For example, swiss cheese plants are hot right now:
Or you can use Google Trends to find popular search terms and their levels of popularity over time. It’ll even show you related terms and queries which may give you ideas for narrower niches and/or products. Here are some related to the term “eco-friendly”:
It looks like lots of people have been searching for eco-friendly coffins over the past 12 months, for instance. Perhaps there’s an affiliate opportunity in that industry!
#3 – Form Your Business
The first step in forming your business is to choose a business structure. Most affiliate marketing companies operate as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation.
You don’t need to register as a sole proprietor which might be good when you’re starting out. But it also means that you’re personally liable if the business owes any debts for instance.
Therefore, forming an LLC or corporation is the better option to keep your personal assets secure. A corporation offers higher levels of protection for its members and greater fringe benefits, but are more complex structures that require more record-keeping, reporting, and the like than an LLC.
Thus, forming an LLC isn’t the only option but it’s the best option for starting an affiliate marketing business. If you’re not sure how to form a business legally, then a service such as ZenBusiness can do it for you.
In fact, the service will create your LLC in less than ten minutes so you can get your business off to a start quickly. ZenBusiness offers a range of further services that help with taxes, compliance, and more.
Essentially, they deal with the bureaucratic stuff and this frees you up to focus on your audience and sales strategy.
#4 – Apply for Affiliate Programs
The easiest way to get started with affiliate marketing is to sign up for a few affiliate platforms. These act as the go-between for merchants and affiliates.
You simply go to the platform and search for topics to find a list of merchants within your niche. For example, when you type the keyword “careers” into ShareASale, merchants like these pop up:
Then, you’ll need to submit an application to the merchant(s) in question. Bear in mind that while some allow everybody to sign up, for others you’ll have to wait until you’ve built up some traffic or a significant social media following before you can apply.
Furthermore, there may be some great affiliate opportunities from brands that don’t feature on platforms like the ones above. If there’s a particular brand you’d like to work with, you may need to use a Google search to find their affiliate program.
Fiverr, for instance, has a standalone affiliate platform:
#5 – Create Great Content
There are a few tried-and-tested types of content that affiliate marketers use to earn commissions. When you’re starting out, it’s a good idea to try different types of content and see what works best with your audience.
If you decide to set up a blog, you can create posts that cater to readers with so-called commercial intent, i.e. they’re in the process of researching what to buy. These are reviews, top product lists, and shopping guides.
You can also create content that has informational intent, such as a guide or how-to post. You’ll simply need to integrate your affiliate recommendations within the post.