You can start as an affiliate marketer from scratch without a website and start-up money. You have to be creative, but anyone with a computer or a smartphone can make money this way. Start by using free publishing platforms the right way, and you have many marketing opportunities to choose from.
Not every affiliate program and publishing platform allows affiliate links. But we are trying to show only the top affiliate platforms and best publishing sites in this guide. If you can’t post links, you waste your time, and we don’t want that.
Affiliate Programs for both beginners and professionals
Clickbank is the best place for fresh marketers to start their affiliate journey. The marketplace represents almost any niche available. You can find anything from Horse Whispering to Antispyware programs.
Clickbank started 1998 in San Diego and is one of the oldest affiliate platforms online. It’s straightforward to find products to promote, and you can create links with a few clicks and instantly put them in a blog post or whatever type of marketing medium you use.
Many affiliates make significant money using Amazons affiliate program. There are thousands upon thousands of products in their catalog. You can find products to promote for almost any niche. Amazon is a worldwide company, so you don’t have to live in the US to get approved as a publisher.
Compare to Clickbank; the commissions are low. You can earn up to 10% per sale, but the rate is often between 2- 5%. But if you promote high ticket products, even a 2% payout can be a satisfying amount of money.
CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) was established in 1998. They are known to have more big names like Apple, Overstock, and Home Depot than other affiliate platforms. The commission rate depends on which products you promote but don’t expect high rates.
CJ’s interface requires a bit of time to get familiar with all components. But when you know how to use it, you can find a lot of products from well-known companies to promote. There are no instant approvals, and you have to apply for every product to get affiliate links.
ShareASale is also a great affiliate platform. It’s very similar to both Amazon and CJ when it comes to which products they have in their inventory. The interface is easy to understand, and you can get started with searching for brands quickly.
Most products don’t have instant approval in place, but you don’t have to wait too long before you get accepted or not. Some products have 30% commission rates but expect more moderate prices if you are planning to promote high ticket products.
Rakuten (formerly LinkShare) is an old affiliate platform founded in 1996. They have not as many brands connected to their platform as CJ. But with fewer choices, it’s easier to get an overview of what to focus on, and not waste time-consuming searching for products.
The affiliate commission vary depending on which niche you’re in, but it’s possible to find products with payout rates up to 30%. Rakuten has excellent video tutorials to watch if you feel like updating your affiliate skills.
Affiliate Marketing with a Free Website or Blog
Web 2.0 sites have been around for a long time. And many successful bloggers started using these free blog services before they upgraded to their hosting solution. It can be easier to rank a blogpost using a free blog because many large Web 2.0 sites have high authority you can use to your advantage.
WordPress dominates the internet, with over 34% of websites that use their CMS. You can start a free blog using their service and post your affiliate links in review articles or guides. It’s easy to use WordPress, and you don’t need to spend much time designing and editing your website.
You can connect your social accounts to your blog and promote your articles and drive traffic from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. Other WordPress users can follow your blog, and you can follow them to exchange likes and traffic.
Because WordPress is such a big and established site with high authority, you can use a lot of lower quality backlinks and still rank your subdomain. Don’t ever use low-quality backlinks on your self-hosted domain.
Googles blogging platform is also excellent free service. You need a Gmail account to sign up, and then you have access to everything. Blogger is user-friendly, and it takes minutes to learn how to start blogging. You have ready-made design templates to choose from, which is convenient and an easy way to build your blog fast.
Blogger has millions of users, and you can search for bloggers in your niche and follow them and get followers in return. Connect your social accounts, and you can get traffic to your blog immediately after publishing a post.
A great thing about blogger is that you can connect an AdSense account to your free blog and earn money that way too. With both AdSense and affiliate links, you increase your chances of making money with no investment but your time.
Tumblr is a microblogging platform. It works a bit different than other blog services because it has social networking features. You can follow and reblogging other Tumblr users’ content or use their sharing tools. You can get followers pretty fast if you stay active, and followers mean traffic, and traffic is money.
You can design your microblog, but there aren’t many features to choose from in their library. That’s not a big deal anyway because you are there to build your network and get free traffic to your affiliate offers.
Tumblr is easy to use, and you can share videos, pictures, and audio with a click of a button. You are allowed to use affiliate links, which makes a Tumblr blog a top alternative for affiliates without a website.
Medium is a blogging platform with social networking and article publishing features. If you don’t want to design a blog, you can focus only on writing articles. You don’t get a subdomain with Medium, instead of a profile page, but that works fine.
The best thing about Medium is that you can reach other members who share the same or similar interests as you. If you publish great content, you can get a lot of free traffic that way.
Medium has a high authority, which makes it easier to rank your articles on google. Many people make a lot of money using Medium because their content is ranking on the first page, and if you copy their tactics, you have a chance too.
Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder. It’s easy to get started, and you can customize your website almost the way you want. You have access to free stock photos and other tools to help you build a great website or blog.
The free version of Wix is limited when it comes to bandwidth and storage. Not a big problem if you are going to write a couple of promotion articles. But if you are planning to build a large blog, then the above platforms are a better option.
Wix has beautiful designs and great features, but to access everything, you have to upgrade. That’s not an option if you want to build a free website to promote affiliate offers.
Free online affiliate link Cloaker
If you want to hide your affiliate links, but don’t want to spend money on a paid service, cloaking your links for free is still possible. You will not get as good tracking abilities with a free Cloaker. It’s hard to get everything for free.
Includes some tracking statistics, such as how many clicks you receive and from which location. It’s a basic link Cloaker but easy to use and free.
Bitly has the same features as Google URL Shortener. You can upgrade if you need more advanced statistics. The free version is enough for most affiliate marketers.
Free affiliate tools
Sometimes it can be hard and time-consuming to figure out new blog ideas. With the blog topic generator, you can insert a noun and get a couple of ideas to get you started.
Answer the public is a great site to help you find keywords for your articles. Insert a keyword, and you will get a lot of different versions of your first keyword.
You need graphics to make your affiliate articles more appealing. With Canva, you can create beautiful infographics, banners, and edit images for free.
Best free online SEO tools to find longtail keywords
You can check almost everything when it comes to internet marketing at SmallSeoTools. There are many Seo tools, text tools, and graphic tools to choose from their tool list.
Ubersuggest is a free Seo tool with great features like keyword suggestions, backlink checker, and domain analyzer. If you want to find many keywords with low competition for free, check out Ubersuggest.
If you have no clue where to start, check out this video, and you will get valuable information on how, to begin with, affiliate marketing. Without the right knowledge, it’s easy to waste time doing the wrong things.