Yes. It is entirely possible to start affiliate marketing for free.
Doing everything for free can slow the process down which is saying a lot because it takes time to gain organic traffic in the first place. That does not mean you have to spend a lot and we will discuss your options in this article.
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission.
Third Party Links Disclaimer: We are not legally responsible for what happens when you click on third party links because we have no control over third party websites, content, functionality, or security and can not be held responsible for any technical or other damage to your devices such as computers, mobile phones, and tablets used when clicking on a link to connect to other platforms. This includes but it not limited to downloading/installing/modifying/distributing any content on third party platforms.
What You Can Do For Free
Build A Website And Get Free Hosting: You can get a free website but usually these types of sites give you a subdomain
instead of a normal address with yoursitename.com.
For example: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instead of a normal address with yoursitename.com. (Not having a real web address can slow your progress.)
There are of course other addresses beyond the .com
For example: .gov, .edu, .ca, .uk, etc.
Some affiliate programs will not let you use a subdomain. Also, sub domains also don’t rank as high as a regular .com would.
You CAN use a subdomain when using PPC ads.
Free WordPress Themes: Most WordPress themes are free unless you need the premium features. Then you will need to upgrade, but there is a lot you can do with a free theme if you pick the right one. We recommend GeneratePress or Kadence.
Free Plugins: Many plugins are free. Most have a pro upgrade, but not all. We think you will find most of what you need plugin wise will be free.
Signing Up For Affiliate Programs: Signing up for an affiliate program is free. However, you will need a min of 10 posts to be approved for amazon’s affiliate program and you will need 25 to 30 for other programs. Plus, Amazon requires 3 sales in 180 days to be officially approved. So it is better to have some traffic before you apply.
Autoresponder: There are many free to start autoresponders. Aweber (our recommendation) is free up to 500 subscribers. Mail Chimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers, but you can’t be apart of the “make money online” niche.
Design: There are free design tools like Canva (free) and Inkscape.
Normal Basic Costs
Training: You need to learn how to be an affiliate marketer before you can start. This will require you to learn the process and techniques. While there is a ton of free information on the web it can be hard to sort out what you need to know. Enter a training program or course.
We fully recommend Wealthy Affiliate. You can read more at the bottom of this post.
Hosting: Real hosting comes with a price tag but there are programs where you can get hosting for as low as $3.00 per month. To get this rate you have to pay for the year in advance.
Website: It can cost nothing to create a website but some people outsource this kind of work so it is a potential cost.
Domain Address: (Your sites URL.): Average price for a semi-permanent domain name is about $15.00 a year.
Autoresponder: You can use an autoresponder for free up to a certain number of subscribers, but then it will be time to upgrade. There are also features that only come with an upgrade like the number of send-outs you’re allowed per month.
Our recommendation is Aweber which is free up to 500 subscribers.
Keyword Tool: While not a complete necesacity in the begining a keyword tool of some sort becomes useful for a host of reasonslike checking your own keyword rankings, checking volueme and traffic, finding out how well a keyword’s potential for ranking is, checking on competitors, and finding potential backlink opportunites
Other Potential Costs
Internet connection: You absolutely need the internet to be able to work online. That is a given but some people use free wifi. That can be risky if you use an unsecured location when dealing with highly sensitive data.
A Computer Or Other Device you can work from. We highly recommend a laptop or desktop computer, but you can use other devices.
Design Tools: This is an optional tool but programs like Canva Pro can enhance your designs from banners to Pinterest pins. You can only do so much for free on the regular Canva
Outsorcing: This could be anything from creating a website, to editing, to graphic design, to writing articles for your site.
Paid Ads And PPC: PPC stands for pay per click. This is just one type of paid ads where you bid to pay money per click or lead. This will cost you money and you will need to tweak your ads as you learn more about your audience.
We think it is better to have an established site that is getting traffic before you decide to give ads a try.
Setting Up A Home Office: You may have all the supplies you already need but here are some basic things you will want to have a computer, desk, chair, phone, and microphone (if you need to do any audio recording).
Link Tracker Software: This software is optional but alot of people like having all their link data in one place. Currently we don’t use this kind of software when an Excel spreadsheet will do, however, it is important to note that we do not have thousands of links, just a handful.
While it is possible to work as an affiliate marketer for free, it really isn’t recommended. When it comes down to it you will want a mix of the free and the paid programs, so we think it is better to start with some money. You really don’t need a lot unless you want to start with ads, and then you need money and some luck. As the old adage goes it sometimes takes money to make money. The good news is that with affiliate marketing it takes far less money to start an online business that opening a brick and mortar one. It also takes less time to see a return on investment (ROI). Please do not misunderstand any business take time to grow but affiliate marketing can be a quicker way to earn profits on your investment.