Hey there Sea Changers. As you may or may not be aware, I have focused this site mainly at the cultivation of an affiliate marketing website allowing us to fund our sea change in an ongoing manner. The thing is however, that affiliate marketing can take some time to make any money, and then even longer to make enough to make it a full time profession. So for many of us it is important that we understand how to start affiliate marketing for free – or at the very least with as little money outlaid as possible.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free - header

Luckily for us, most of the online tools we require are available as paid, and non paid versions – the non paid versions may come up short with some functionality or impose some limitations but when we are at the bootstrapping stage of our business, the question really has to be whether we really need the increased functionality or not. In fact, I still only spend about $70 per month on subscriptions and have spent roughly $150 on software all up. But there are so many more upgrades etc. that I have chosen to leave out. I will explain more about this as we go but for now let's dig in and see what we can get for free as we start our affiliate marketing business…

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free

Ok, so let's see how we can get started in this affiliate marketing caper for nix

What do we need?

Affiliate marketing is actually one of the most popular online money making processes there is – purely for the fact that it is so cost effective to set up. And whilst this is true, there are always decisions we need to make as we go in terms of the tools we need to get our websites up and running and ranking on search engines. So to start, let's have a look at the tools and arrangements we will need to get started:

  • Website hosting
  • Website and content development
  • SEO
  • Promotional Tools
  • Training

As we discussed earlier, there are definitely tools that will assist us with each of these requirements that will cost us money – but to be honest, as we start out there really is a struck match between what we can get for free and what we pay for in terms of more functionality or benefit. The question we must always ask ourselves however, is do we really need it?

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free - users

As we move forward, I will outline how you can do everything for free as promised, but I will also discuss some of the cheaper options should you choose to spend just a little cash along the way. Let's check out how we can do this…

Website setup

The first thing we generally need in an affiliate marketing business is a website. This is where we will solve the problems of our readers and direct them to our affiliate links in order to make an income. However, in order to make money, we need a website that is visible on the world wide web and locatable by search engines. For this we will need two things, a website domain name and website hosting:

Website domains

A website domain is the name or URL that the site is known by (e.g. the domain for this website is makethatseachange.com). Let's look at the free options:

Note: If you undertake an online search for a free domain, you will see plenty of them available. In most cases however, the domain is provided free when you pay for hosting on their platform. In truth most of these are really good options, but for the purpose of this post I have stuck to the completely free options.

Wix Wix allows you a completely free domain for your new website. You can name your domain anything you like (as long as it is available) however your site is a sub domain of the main .wix domain and will have .wix in the URL. e.g. www.mysite.wix.com.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free - wix

WordPress – Like Wix, you are able to create your own website for free within WordPress with a free domain name. And again, like Wix, you can name the site anything you like however it is also a sub domain and must have .wordpress in the URL. e.g. www.mysite.wordpress.com

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free - wordpress

Wealthy AffiliateWealthy Affiliate is a complete online affiliate marketing training and hosting site with an inbuilt wordpress editor. On the free membership, you are able to create two free websites with free sub domains. As with the others, you can choose the name but will have .siterubix in the URL. e.g. www.mysite.siterubix.com.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free - Wealthy Affiliate

Others

There are a number of other sites that will provide free sub domains with their free website offerings including:

I guess the thing to keep in mind here is that with any of the option above, whilst you have free rein to create your initial domain name (such as “mysite”), you will always have the sub domain suffix included. In most cases you can remove the sub domain for around $13 – $20 per year – changing the examples above to www.mysite.com.

Now I know that I am discussing free website creation here, but if I am being honest, if you have the $$ then I would recommend purchasing your own domain. It just looks more professional and is better for SEO.

Website hosting

The options above will indeed host your website for free if you keep the free domains as well. If you wish to upgrade to a domain name that you have purchased, then unfortunately you will need to purchase hosting from them as well. As far as free hosting is concerned, again the examples above are probably your best options. I have found others – and there are plenty out there- but I have also found that they can be so restrictive in their free services that it really is not worth it if you are trying to build a reliable website with all the tools needed (like video, plugins and images).

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free - website

And whilst I know we are not getting off to a good start in the whole “affiliate marketing for free” thing, I really suggest you look at some outgoings on this as well. If however, you want to stick with the sub domain options then you are absolutely able to acquire and host your domain for free. If not, here are some of the cheapest, yet stable, options I could find.

There are hundreds of others so you can certainly do some research here. There are however a couple of things to be keep an eye on:

  1. How long their ‘cheap' hosting lasts – many offer their click bait rates for a few months then revert to higher costs after that.
  2. Is the free domain always free – this is another click bait pitch where they offer a free domain but it is usually only for the first year – you will need to purchase it after that – this is not a bad thing necessarily as you can start for free and pay later once some revenue starts to come in.

Website and content development

Once you have a domain and hosting sorted, then obviously you are going to want to develop your website. The main three that we listed above when discussing free domains also contain free website developer tools if you want to stick to the basics.

With different variations however, they all will start to charge a monthly fee should you want things like:

  • Greater array of themes and in some cases, plugins
  • Using your own domain name
  • More functionality
  • Extra storage space
  • Increased bandwidth
  • Increased backup frequency

Other good website content creators that you can use for free (with a sub domain – all charge for use of your own domain) include:

  • Joomla – Not as beginner friendly as the three above but has rich functionality and great tools.
  • Squaresace – neat, clean and cost effective for any website type.
  • Drupal – Greater security and scalability for larger and business sites.
  • Typo3 – Good for multi-site management.
  • Shopify – If you are in the e-commerce space, this marketplace product could work (free access however is on a trial basis only.
  • Weebly – Great for e-commerce sites – free domain for first year with hosting plan.

Again, the level of ‘free' you are after definitely relates to whether you are wanting to use your own domain or are happy with a sub domain. If you really have no money to spend then sub domain options are the way to go here and absolutely you can develop and host a fully functioning website for free with any of the above options.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free - work hard

Website creation with your own domain however will cost you anywhere from $10 – $50 per month depending on the arrangements of the site. If this is the path you wish to go down, as you do your research, keep in mind the following:

  • Does it match your needs? – In the examples above I quickly outlined some of the target audience for the content creators such as large or small sites, ease of use, ability for e-commerce and security options.
  • Are there any hidden costs? – Since we are talking about getting this stuff for as little money as possible, check for hidden pricing plans or ‘click bait' offers. Many will offer the first month, six months or year for free then ramp up the costs after that. This may not be something to turn you away, just something to be aware of.
  • Is it all-in-one? – If you do make the decision to spend some money on your own domain and/or hosting, then the last thing you want is to get started and find out that you need to spend more on satellite program. Make sure you can build your site completely, update it, publish, get and email address, manage SEO and increase functionality (plugins etc.) all in the one spot.
  • Is there good support? – This is critical – in the magical place that is the internet, things go wrong all-the-time! You will need access to a good support area to assist you when things don't go to plan.

You can usually find this information via online reviews, testimonials or forums – and trust me, if there are skeletons, people will find them.

Get Away From the Rat Race and Work From Home

Anyone wanting to build an online business can get started using Wealthy Affiliate because it has all the tools you need!

You too can start your very own online business here that can make you money from anywhere in the world!!

SEO

Ok, now for the good news, the rest of our requirements covered within this post are totally free! Let's start with SEO.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the most critical elements of any website as it is how to try and get your posts to rank on the first page of a search engine results page (SERP). Why? Well simply put, the higher you rank, the more traffic you attract and the more people visit your site. This then obviously leads to more chance that some will make a purchase from your affiliate links.

The thing with SEO is that it is definitely something that you can spend a lot of money on – and which you will be hounded for as soon as anyone out there gets a whiff that you have a new website – as trust me, it doesn't take long for the emails and social media messages to come in.

Absolutely some of these characters do have tips and tricks that just may push you up those rankings a little faster, however as you start out, keep in mind that SEO, like Affiliate marketing in general is a long term game so without anything of substance on your site, you really just need to buckle down and get it done yourself – which, apart from your time, is totally free.

This is how you can do this:

Find a good keyword tool – Keywords are the words that people use to search for stuff on the internet. Keyword tools assist you in finding good keywords to use in your posts to give yourself the best possible chance of matching readers to your content. For example, if I am writing a post on beach fishing, then I would use a keyword tool to find out how people are looking for this information:

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free - beach fishing

From here I can see:

  • What people are searching for (keyword)
  • How many searches are being undertaken per month (Ave)
  • How many other sites have these keywords (QSR)
  • An overall SEO score (SEO) – the percentage chance of getting to page 1 with these keywords.

There are a good number of free SEO/keyword tools out there. I recommend:

Build Content – That's right, there is no use paying for ads etc. if there is no content there to refer people to. Search engines look for sites that provide solutions and value – you cannot do this without content. Write blog posts, solve problems, engage readers and soon the search engines will start to see your site as an authority and rankings will increase organically.

And again, the only resource you are spending here is your own time.

Promotional tools

Apart from the (few of many) SEO techniques we discussed in the previous section, one major way to drive traffic you your site is via promotion. Again, there are many ways to do this with paid advertising however, luckily for us, some of the most powerful tools available to us are totally free:

Social Media

Of course – we all have accounts and they are all free to join. And did you know that behind Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet. The fact is that social media is a fantastic medium with which to promote your website and in turn increase search engine rankings and traffic.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free - social media

There are good number of platforms out there and you cannot possibly manage all of them right off the bat. So in order to choose which platform is right for you, consider the following:

  • Who are your audience and what are you trying to do with them (your objectives)?
  • What social media platforms do your audience use?
  • Which of these platforms do you know how to use?
  • Which of these platforms are best for what you are trying to achieve?
  • How much time do you have to commit to your campaign?
  • Can these platforms be adapted to match your brand?

Once you have this information sorted, then you can post information and details about your website and posts. Some examples include:

  • Video demonstrations of the products you are promoting/reviewing on YouTube.
  • Joining niche related FaceBook groups to interact, get ideas of what people are after and, if allowable, offer solutions via your site.
  • Posting ‘how tos' and recipes onto Pinterest.
  • Posting pictures of your products, your work or a mood you are trying to set on Instagram.

The sky really is the limit and like an affiliate marketing business, it will take time to nurture a decent following but, as we have said, it is all free!

Email lists

You know emails… those annoying electronic letters that clog up your inbox at an alarming rate and cause you grief simply trying to get to them all. Well, you know what? As of 2018 (where the latest data ends), email is still the most effective digital marketing channel there is – outperforming social media, SEO and any form of advertising.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free - email

Again, building a list takes time – I see a pattern here – everything we do for free in this business works, it just takes time. And you know what? Often paid tools take just as much time and just cost more… Anyway, I digress…

Email lists are a fantastic means of driving traffic and sales to your site as they allow you to directly market to individuals in regards to their personal needs and interests without them having to try and re-find your site. In general terms, the creation of an email campaign involves the following:

Acquiring and setting up an Autoresponder.

In short, an autoresponder is a fancy name for an email management or marketing program that allows you to:

  • Create and grow email lists.
  • Setup automated email campaigns to your email list.
  • Customise email traffic to different customer segments based on their behaviours, interests and interactions with you.

Create a call to action

Many of us are a bit jaded when it comes to email opt ins these days so you will need to some sort of enticement to grow your list. This may include the offer of:

  • A newsletter– ongoing access to promotions, special information and other ‘secret’ stuff – this will need to be good however or your unsubscribe numbers will be skyrocket.
  • Something free– such as an e-book, book, trinket or merchandise etc.
  • Something helpful– instructional ‘how to’ guide or checklist etc.
  • Personal assistance– special assistance from yourself that general readers to your site do not receive.

Opt in

In most cases this is handled by the autoresponder but you must set up a process where readers can enter their information to give you permission to send them emails. Most autoresponders will cancel your account if they notice that you are using emails addresses without permission.

There are many autoresponders out there and as with free website creation platforms, have varying functionality for free users. However, if you are looking at a good autoresponder that is totally free to use then I would recommend you look into MailChimp.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free - mailchimp

With its Forever Free Plan, you can use it for free until you reach the threshold of up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month making it perfect for new businesses.

Note: MailChimp actually frowns upon affiliate marketers using its platform so you will need to place your links back to your own website rather than directly to your affiliate program. That said, it is the best option out there that is totally free – at least until you build your site large enough where you are happy to pay a little extra for this service.

Training

And finally, the key to all of this is to ensure that you are constantly and consistently seeking and sourcing training – I mean if you are new to this I am quite sure that some of the above may even be a little confusing – but don't fear, there is free training everywhere.

Start with the following:

That does not mean that there are not others out there that I have used happily however. And of course there are also plenty of others out there that I have not stumbled across yet that you can look into to gain free training and instruction. To find them, you can undertake some searches such as:

Free Affiliate Marketing Training Programs - search

Just keep in mind that as with some of the platforms we have discussed above that ‘free’ can mean a lot of different things such as just a trial, or free with limited content or just totally free. But at the end of the day, and I cannot reiterate this enough, as long as you are continuously searching, reading and learning, then you are ahead of the game!

Conclusion

And there it is – an outline of some of the things that you can do to get yourself starting within the affiliate marketing business for free. As your business grows, there will be need to start spending, but as you start out and learn, at least you know that you don't need to spend any cash. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, need some advice or have any experiences to share.

Do you want further assistance with any of the above or need help to build your own affiliate marketing website?

Are I started my affiliate marketing journey for free with Wealthy Affiliate. So if you are looking for a comprehensive training platform that can give you step by step training, 24/7 support, tools to develop and host your very own website, ongoing assistance with SEO and social media and access to some of the best affiliate marketing minds on the planet, then click on the following link to read more about Wealthy Affiliate.

Until next time

Have fun

Paul

Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price. This may include sales made via Wealthy Affiliate.

Introducing Wealthy Affiliate, My #1 Recommendation for Setting Up Your Own Online Business

wealthy affiliate new home page

When I started, I knew I wanted to work online, but had absolutely no idea where to begin! You see I had watched friends of mine run a sales party to sell essential oils and someone asked if they could just sell them online?

Then, as I sat on the bus heading into my office job, I started to wonder if I could do just that, sell essential oils online.

Anything to stop having to catch this bus to and from work every day right!

The trouble was, as I mentioned above, I had no idea how to even start.

So of course I started to look around online and found all these courses! They all promised me riches then took my money but left me with no riches!

Then I stumbled across the program that didn’t promise me riches, but told me it could help me get started even with no experience!

So I did that, joined Wealthy Affiliate that was it, and the rest as they say, is history!

But it doesn’t come without work!

That is the key here! I began on their starter membership and did the training! I then joined as a member and did some more training!

Each night after work, I would do a little more, then a little more.

And to cut a long story short, after 10 months I realized I didn’t really like writing about essential oils, so I sold the site for about $2000. But I had learned so much that I started another – about fishing and camping!

Then, after 18 months (by which time it had earned me close to $10k), I was offered $17k for the site, so I sold it too.

Now, through my travel blog, I’ve been able to fund my passion for travel and explore different places around the world.

In the past few months, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing destinations, including Bali, Los Angeles, Dallas, Vancouver and Las Vegas.

The success of my travel blog has allowed me to fully fund my travels and explore new destinations with my family.

Steps to Creating a Successful Travel Blog - Me at Whistler

Try the Wealthy Affiliate as a Starter Member and Build your First Hub!

As you start your journey, Wealthy Affiliate is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And as I have mentioned, I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

To get you started, Wealthy Affiliate has recently introduced the Hub.

The Hub

The hub is an AI based niche and website creation tool that will get you up and running with the foundation of your OWN business in just a few minutes. This includes:

  • Your website – hosted and inclusive of a WordPress editor
  • Your brand
  • Your ‘done-for-you’ research
  • Your blueprint
  • A task list that is going to help you drive the creation and growth of your business moving forward.
Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - Hub screen

The hub makes the website creation process simple which allows you to get started on the training with a solid base and understanding of the processes.

All you need to do is choose your subject – which is known as your ‘niche’ – and follow the steps on the screen.

Oh, and as you run through the training below you may realize that what you created above is not exactly what you want. That’s ok, you can just create a new hub!

Wealthy Affiliate Training

Then as you continue your journey, the Wealthy Affiliate Hub is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

Above we discussed the use of the Hub to set up a website. Once you have done this, you will be able to access the “Step-by-Step Core Training”.

This is available to all members including starter members and will give you everything you need to know to continue to create your online business.

Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - step by step core training

Member Training

There are also Live weekly classes taught by REAL industry experts on a range of topics like artificial intelligence (AI), SEO, YouTube, WordPress, PPC marketing and more.

wealthy affiliate master training

Great, What Else Does Wealthy Affiliate Have To Help You?

So, let’s keep this short, Wealthy Affiliate is a one-stop-shop platform that provides:

  • The Hub – this is the starting point and uses AI processes to assist you in determining your niche and creating your brand.
  • Complete training programs to assist with the development of your own affiliate marketing website in your own niche.
  • Website creation and publishing tools including access to WordPress editors and themes.
  • AI Content article design and content creation
  • Domain name purchasing (you get a free domain when you upgrade to the Premium membership).
  • Website hosting, security and backup.
  • Online help and chat forums.
  • Weekly live training events.
  • 24/7 support.
  • Keyword access tools.
  • SEO assistance.

The platform has been active for over 15 years with the original developers and owners, Kyle and Carson, still extremely active in its day to day operations – especially as they rollout their AI capabilities.

wa first two steps

You Can Try it Yourself For Free

Now of course I can tell you all about how Wealthy Affiliate works (because it does) until I am blue in the face. But every other program out there – including the shams and scams – will tell you the same thing!

So how about you just try it for free yourself. The Wealthy Affiliate Starter membership is free to join and gives you access to everything you need to get started – all without the need to spend a cent!

With the starter membership, you get:

  • 1 Limited Business Hub
  • 1,500 AI Word Credits
  • Try the AI Author Platform (BETA)
  • 1 Practice Website
  • Jaaxy Starter
  • Limited Help & Support
  • Core Niche Training (8 Classes)

And of course I will be there to help you every step of the way as well!

Look, in the interest of transparency, whilst Wealthy Affiliate does offer a free starter membership, this is designed to give you a look around, have a practice and see if it is worthwhile for you – which is a really great option.

However, as with all new businesses, you will need to make some investment so if you are serious about making money online , you will need to upgrade to a premium membership as this will give you access to all the tools you need in the one spot to succeed!

Afterall, every business needs tools to grow!

So How Much Does This Really Cost?

Wealthy Affiliate does not use upsells once you join – but as I mentioned in the video, to succeed here you will need to invest in a membership. There are a couple of options that provide access to all the tools, training and assistance that you could need – and a free domain as well.

Wealthy Affiliate offers a trio of membership tiers, as detailed on their pricing page.

You can opt for the Starter membership at no cost, the Premium membership for $49 per month or the Premium Plus+ membership for $99 per month. That’s the full extent of it – and you can absolutely build your website without having to spend another cent.

You won’t encounter any unexpected additional charges or covert fees and as a Premium member, you’re equipped with all the essentials to initiate, develop and expand a thriving online enterprise.

Those who opt for the Premium membership are provided with

  • Hosting for their websites
  • A complimentary domain name
  • Access to hundreds of hours of current expert tutorials
  • Various marketing and research tools
  • Personal guidance from seasoned professionals in the field
  • And much much more

And for those of you who want to make a serious investment into your future, there are some yearly options as well below to give you peace of mind that you have a whole year ahead of you to get stuff done!

And Don’t Forget the Personal Coaching

Once you join, not only do you get plenty of assistance from me, but you also have access to expert coaching, support and mentorship from real industry experts.

I mean, you can have access to all of the top-tier affiliate marketing training in the world, but inevitably, questions arise, particularly during the initial stages.

With an exceptionally dynamic and engaged community that boasts over 2.7 million members, Wealthy Affiliate offers an environment where you, as a member, can fully immerse and leverage this network.

You’re never alone; you have the collective wisdom of an entire community at your fingertips, ready to assist at any moment.

Plus, there’s always-on, rapid-response website support to handle any technical queries you may encounter.

WA graphic

Wealthy Affiliate Works: Real Results From Real People

As I have mentioned a number of times, Wealthy Affiliate has helped me make real money online though its training and tools.

I have made money each month as well as a sale for $17,000.

But again, those promoting other programs will tell you the same thing!

So let’s get away from me and see what others are saying:

To start with, Wealthy Affiliate has a 4.9 out of 5 Star TrustPilot rating, which is a remarkable accomplishment in any industry, let alone the online business industry.

WA trust pilot image

And here are some of those reviews:

wealthy affiliate trust pilot

And this is what people are saying within Wealthy Affiliate as well:

home page - success at WA

So, Let’s Make a Decision!

Let’s be frank, you have read this far so why not go all in, click on the button below to get started on the way to your very online business.

And once you are in and have had a play around with the hub, look for the little envelope on the top right and there will be a message from me. It is of course automated so respond to let me know you are there and we can start this journey together.

(oh, and the profile is mine so you can find me that way as well)

wealthy affiliate envelope

See you there

Paul

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