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How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money in 2024

Our beginner-friendly guide walks you through the steps to launch your affiliate marketing business without any money. Plus, we've got a little bonus for you!
by Chris Allmer | May 3 2024
How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money in 2024

The world of affiliate marketing is booming! Did you know the market value of affiliate marketing surpassed a staggering $17 billion in 2023?

It’s an exciting space for anyone looking to make some cash online.

And the best part? 

Getting started requires just a minimal investment. That’s right, so if you’re wondering how to start affiliate marketing with no money, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll teach you how to get into it for cheap!

Plus, with our Blinkist library of hundreds of business book summaries, you can gain valuable knowledge and easily speed up your journey to becoming a successful affiliate marketer.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is like getting paid for your personal recommendations, but online.  Imagine you’re always raving about your latest finds, from tech gadgets to the newest sport shoes. 

With affiliate marketing for beginners especially, your everyday shout-outs can become a source of income. Because very time someone purchases a product through your special referral link, you make some cash.

Here’s a little guide on how affiliate marketing works:

  • You (the Affiliate): You create engaging content, such as blog posts, social media videos, or reviews, about products you genuinely believe in.
  • The Merchant: Consider a reputable sports brand like Adidas. They offer an affiliate program where you can sign up to promote their products.
  • The Customer: Your audience reads your review of a pair of Adidas running shoes, clicks on your unique affiliate link within the review, and completes a purchase on the Adidas website.

The Key: When that customer buys those shoes, you earn a commission from Adidas because your affiliate link tracked the sale. The commission rate varies depending on the program, but it could be up to 7% for Adidas or 4% for Amazon Associates.

Why You Should Start Affiliate Marketing – Even Without Money

  • Low Barrier to Entry: You don’t need a massive investment to get started.
  • Location Independence: Work from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Flexible Schedule: Set your own hours and work at your own pace.
  • Passive Income Potential: Commissions can continue to roll in even when you’re not actively promoting.


How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: in 3 Steps

1. Find Your Niche

  • Passion is Key: 

Pick a niche you’re genuinely interested in and knowledgeable about. Your enthusiasm will translate into more engaging content. Here are some niches, you can explore: health & wellness, personal finance, relationships & dating, productivity, sustainable living, gaming, and travel.

  • Targeted Audience: 

A well-defined niche allows you to target a specific audience, making your content more relevant and increasing conversions.

For a deeper dive into understanding your target audience and tailoring your strategies, consider exploring our comprehensive guide: “Client vs. Customer: How to Find Your Ideal Buyer” in the Blinkist Magazine.

  • Profitability: 

Research the niche’s potential for affiliate programs with good commission rates and high-quality products because we want to have some proper income.

2. Find Your Affiliate Program

The following platforms connect you with merchants from various industries. Popular examples include:

You can also sign up for the big guns, like Amazon.

And if you have some companies you like, just reach out to them and ask about their affiliate programs, plenty of companies are happy to work with affiliates like HubSpot, or Shopify.

Here’s how you can, for example, work with Blinkist: Join our Partner Program.

3. How to Find Your Customers

  • Social Media: 

Utilize platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube to create engaging content related to your niche. Create a channel, create engaging content, and give recommendations for the products you like.

  • Blog for Free: 

Start a blog using free platforms like Blogger or Here, you can create in-depth content showcasing your knowledge and strategically placing affiliate links within relevant posts. Then you can promote your blog content on social media to drive traffic.

If you don’t have the cash for buying a domain and build a website, don’t worry:

Here are the best affiliate programs for beginners without a website

Platforms like ShareASale and CJ Affiliate are among the best affiliate programs for beginners without a website. They offer a diverse range of products to promote, even without a web presence.

Plus, many products on Amazon can easily be promoted on various platforms. For example, you can post product recommendations for free here:

1. Medium: It’s a cool spot to drop your articles or reviews. Just sneak your affiliate links into your bio or at the end of your posts. Just remember to give your readers a heads-up about those links.

2. Reddit: Got some links to share? Dive into the subreddits where they fit. Just be real and helpful, and don’t forget to tell folks about your affiliate connection.

3. Quora: Answering questions? Slip in those affiliate links when they make sense. Just play by Quora’s rules and be upfront about the links you’re sharing.

4 More Ways How You Can Do Affiliate Marketing With No Money

1. Community Building

Participate in online communities like forums or Facebook groups related to your niche. Become an expert, give tips, answer questions, and establish yourself as a knowledgeable voice. 

By establishing yourself as a trusted resource, you’ll gain the community’s trust in your recommendations, including the affiliate products you showcase.

2. Go Viral

Craft engaging content on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube that resonates with your niche. Again, become the go-to source for valuable information – think informative videos, eye-catching Instagram posts, or insightful forum discussions. 

But, don’t be pushy – focus on providing genuine value and letting your expertise shine through.

3. Email Marketing in a Budget

Utilize free email marketing services to build an email list. Offer valuable free resources like ebooks or cheat sheets in exchange for email addresses. 

If you need a boost in crafting compelling emails that captivate and convert, take a look at “Email Marketing Demystified” by Matthew Paulson. This strategic guide teaches you the keys to launching successful email campaigns. Get the key ideas in just a few minutes by clicking here: 

Additionally, two of the biggest platforms to help you organize your email list are Mailchimp and HubSpot. Check out our comparison to see what fits your needs best: HubSpot vs Mailchimp – A Comprehensive Comparison.

4. Master the art of Pinterest

Create high-quality pins showcasing products you recommend. You can organize your pins into relevant boards catering to specific interests within your niche. This allows viewers to discover products related to their specific needs.

If you want to dive deeper into the fascinating world of social media and how you can use it to make money, check out our curated list of “This Is Social Media Marketing”.

From hashtags to Facebook ads, social media presents a whole new ball game where the right voice and approach depends entirely on who your brand and audiences are. 


So, you want to be an affiliate marketing ninja without breaking the bank? 

Let’s be honest, the whole “making money online” pitch can sometimes feel a bit too good to be true. However, affiliate marketing makes it a real possibility. And the best part? You can dive into it without spending a dime.

Imagine yourself as the ultimate product hype machine, enthusiastically sharing the things you genuinely adore. Each time someone buys a product through your unique link, you earn a commission—cha-ching!

Now, here’s where it gets even better. 

We at Blinkist will support you on your journey to building your affiliate empire. How? 

Our library is bursting with thousands of books on Finance, Marketing, Social Media, and more. And we’ve already gone through and summarized these books for you. 

This means you can get the key messages of each book and become smarter in just minutes.

And as an added bonus, we’re offering you the first week of Blinkist for free. So, you can stop wondering how to start affiliate marketing with no money and soak up all the wisdom of our book summaries for absolutely no cost!

Start your affiliate business now!

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