Is Affiliate Marketing Free to Start?

Affiliate marketing is an awesome way to make money online. It’s very much different from other forms of online business as they are much easier and doesn’t involve any risk.

But, Is affiliate marketing free to start?

Yes, affiliate marketing can be started for free. Not only is most of the affiliate programs free to join but you could also market these products for free. Some methods involve using the power of Instagram, YouTube, forums, etc.

So, let’s find out below how you could use some platforms to market affiliate products for free and make money.

Free Ways to Start With Affiliate Marketing

There are a lot of ways to market affiliate products. A lot of them are paid and will require you to invest some money.

However, here are some free ways to do it. Do note that these methods aren’t easy and will require some time to make some money.

Before starting, make sure that you have selected a niche and that you have found some good affiliate products to promote within that niche.

1. YouTube

Youtube is one of the best platforms to promote. If you are consistent and patient enough, the earning potential from Youtube is enormous.

The first step before starting a youtube channel is to find something that you are interested and comfortable with so that you can speak and express your views.

The initial days are going to be quite tough and you will have a hard time getting views but if you can somehow continue it, you will surely find success.

When you create content, try searching for different affiliate programs around that content and link it to it. When you do that, please make sure that the product that you are promoting is a good one and will be beneficial for your viewers.

2. Instagram

Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms right now and it is growing day by day.

It is comparatively harder to make money on Instagram compared to other platforms as they do not allow links in individual posts.

However, They do allow you to place a link in your profile and you can make use of that.

Instagram has become quite competitive over the years with lots of niche pages on the platform. So, it will be a bit harder for you to grow if similar pages already exist.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start one. If you can find a micro-niche with a very good product that has an affiliate platform, it would be a good start.

Related ArticleIs Amazon Affiliate Program Worth It?

3. Quora and Other Forums

Quora is a place where you can answer questions asked by different people around the world.

It’s a great place to market different products too. I prefer Quora because their website does rank for some keywords on Google.

So, if you can find such questions and then give a “good answer” to them by linking to your affiliate product, you can surely make some good money.

Many people try this method and say that it doesn’t work. That’s because they do not know what a “good answer” is and they do not know to which questions they should answer.

If you are someone like that, take a minute to read the below guidelines on how to write on Quora:-

  1. Go to and search for questions that people might ask regarding your niche or affiliate product. (Look out for autosuggestions by Google)
  2. On the results page, if you find a question from Quora that’s related to what you asked, click on it. Else find other question.
  3. See if that question has less than 10-15 answers, if there are more than that you are most likely to be on the bottom of the page where people won’t scroll. So, this is a must.
  4. If the above two conditions satisfy, Write a good answer with atleast 300-500 words. Long answers usually tend to be on the top of the page. So, make sure you write as much as you can.
  5. Adding links is tricky on Quora. You might get banned if you add so many links to the post. So, add just one link and it should be included in the first or second paragraph so that there’s a higher chance that people might see and click on them.
  6. Sometimes, your answer might not show up on Quora. That would be because of some grammatical or spelling mistakes. So make sure you use some tool like Grammarly.

The above steps have helped me in writing answers that rank no.1 on their page.

Disclaimer – Affiliate links are not really encouraged by Quora and sometimes your answer might be considered spam. But, that happens only sometimes.

The more professional way of doing this would be to create a website and then write a good article related to your Quora question. You could then drive traffic from Quora by linking that blog post in the answer.

4. Freelancing Platforms

This is a bit more hard way and you will need to do a bit more work than others. But if done right, it might be the fastest way to make some quick commissions.

Freelancing services like Website creation, Online store creation, sales funnel creation, etc are the ones that can benefit from this.

Let’s take an example. Suppose you select the website creation service and register as a freelancer on a platform like Upwork. For a website, the most basic thing is a hosting platform, and most of the people who order that service will not have one.

Some hosting platforms which have Affiliate programs include – Bluehost, Siteground, WPX, Hostinger, Hostgator, etc. Register on any one of them (I prefer Bluehost where you can get anywhere from $80-$125 per sale)

So, once you get an order from a client, you can send them your affiliate link and ask them to buy it and then send you the login credentials.

So, this has two advantages, one, You can make money from your service on Upwork, Two, you get a commission for each person that joins through your affiliate link.

Now, obviously, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Getting a client from upwork is hard and it will take time. However, in your case, you can price your service a lot lower than your competition because you can benefit from your affiliate commission.

5. Guest Posting

Guest posting has to be the hardest one on this list. There are two reasons why this is hard.

One, It’s a pain in the ass to find a person who accepts guest posts. You will have to mail hundreds of people to finally get 2 or 3 people to accept.

Two, You will have to write a good piece of content for them so that they accept and publish it on their website/blog.

On top of these two problems, you also have the problem of them removing your affiliate link and replacing it with theirs.

So, this is really one bad way to start affiliate marketing. And I just included this one to the list to show that it is indeed a possible way to start for free.

Related ArticleIs Affiliate Marketing Worth It?

6. Pinterest

Pinterest in another great place to share your affiliate links for free. However, there are certain niches that do well and it’s better to choose them.

Some of these niches are Home decor, Cooking, Fitness, Art, Travel, Photography, Beauty, DIY etc.

Choose a niche and then create an account around it. Create good Pinterest images with informative content and then publish it by linking to your affiliate product.

Keep in mind that this is a slow process and you will find it a bit hard at first.

Consider using something like tailwind tribes. It will help you grow faster.

There are different communities in tailwind tribes where you can enrol depending on your niche. These communities work on a “share for share” basis where if you share their content on your board, your pins will be shared by other people too.

I have used it in the past and it did really help me grow my reach and audience.


As you can see, Affiliate marketing can be started for free and there are multiple ways to do it.

Hope the above 6 ways will help you make some extra cash. Best of luck.