7 Steps to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free: A Beginner's Guide

7 Steps to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free: A Beginner’s Guide


Are you looking to make some extra money online? Are you curious about affiliate marketing but don’t know where to start? This guide is for you! In 7 easy steps, I’ll show you how to start affiliate marketing for free. Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make money online, but it’s not as simple as just signing up and starting to promote products. There are a few things you need to do first. You need to start building your sales funnel in order to build a sustainable affiliate marketing business. So if you’re ready, let’s get started!

  1. Choose a niche

You need to choose a niche before you choose any of the products to promote. A niche that you’re interested in, you’re passionate about and most importantly you have the knowledge in. It is crucial to choose the right niche to start and beginners are always struggling in choosing the right niche. They may go to the most lucrative niche like finance. Don’t choose your niche only looking at the earnings per click or payable amount. You should choose the one you’re familiar with, so in the stage of promotion, you’ll find it easier to promote and establish your authority in the niche naturally.

For example, you’re working as an interior designer. You design hundreds and thousands of homes and you know what a good design looks like, you know what kind of furniture is suitable for a minimalist apartment. You can advise people based on their budget, desire and draft a design for them in a short time. Then, you should be in the design niche, home niche when you’re starting your affiliate marketing side hustle.

  1. Identify your audience

After choosing a niche, you need to identify your audience. You need to do research on your audience, understand them, and create different customer personas. In order to successfully promote your product, answer the following questions suggested by Sabri Suby:

  • What are they dreaming for?
  • What are they hoping for?
  • What is stopping them from taking actions (i.e. buying)?
  • What are their fears?
  • Where are they spending most of their time? (e.g. Instagram? TikTok?)

These answers can help you get a clearer picture on how your target audience look like and how you can create content and write copies that appeal to them.

  1. Create content

You now know who your target audience is and the next step will be creating content and starting to reach them. Don’t create content on the wrong channel, you’ll be wasting your time and that’s why in step 2, you need to find out where your audience is spending their time. To start affiliate marketing for free, you can create content on 3 channels where your audience is definitely fell into.

  1. Instagram

With the raise of Instagram Reels, people are spending time on Instagram to get entertained with both images and short videos. Using a combination of stories, images and short videos to plan your content strategy. You’ll see your followers grow in a short time.

  1. TikTok

A viral social media platform in recent years, is beating Facebook and competing with Instagram for users. You can start creating short videos and post them. Be consistent and post once a day, you’ll start getting eyeballs from your audience.

  1. YouTube

Apart from social media platforms, you can create long form videos on YouTube. The advantage of creating long videos over short videos is to present in-depth information to your audience like how to do guide, top tips, product reviews and more. Your audience can get insights and learn something from you.

  1. Build relationships with your audience

Your first sale will not come easy. You need to be consistent in creating valuable content. When we talk about valuable content, it’s content that provides information and knowledge your audience is hoping to learn. The information you provide can be helpful for your audience with the problems they’re facing. Provide them the solution for free. Build the relationship with your audience and you’ll have a higher chance of converting.

  1. Create a community

It’s vital to engage with your audience outside social media. The benefit of creating a community is that you’re converting them into your leads. You can create a Facebook group or a Discord channel. Inside the community, you can have different discussions and conversations with your leads, even provide them exclusive information to make them feel different from following you on social media. You’re connecting with them personally and even solving their problems 1 to 1. Be active in the community and serve your audience.

  1. Promote your affiliate product

Your leads are ready to buy at this stage. They are well-nurtured on your social and inside the community. You can start promoting the products to your audience. Remember, always promote the products you personally love, use and find value in. It can increase the buying confidence of your leads.

To make buying the product a no brainer, you can craft irresistible offers around the product you’re promoting to increase the value your audience can receive. For example, they can get a free enquiry/consultation session, exclusive discounts, a free course and more.

  1. Track your commission

Congrats on your first sales and commissions in advance! You can track your commission in the backend. It’s important to monitor the performance of your effort. You can get insights from the results to understand what kind of content your audience is loving and what kind of topics or products convert more. With reference to the data and information, you can create more valuable, highly converting content and be one of the authorities in your niche. So, you need to keep track of funnel data to see which part of it needs to be optimized and keep growing your affiliate business.

Wrap up

Affiliate marketing is not dead! It’s still a good way to start making money online and you can do it without any prior marketing experience or huge up-front capital. Keep in mind that this is not a get rich quick tactic, it takes time to get results. It is a fundamental and very basic overview – there are many tutorials and resources online about it, so be sure to do your own research and figure out what works best for you and your niche. By following these 7 steps, you’ll be on your way to creating a successful and sustainable affiliate marketing business in a shorter time.

Author Bio: Mel Pang

Mel is a digital consultant working in a multinational IT consulting company with experience in digital transformation, CRM and digital marketing. She runs a blog melpang.com and is passionate to help entrepreneurs and businesses with marketing automation, sales funnels and content marketing.